Characterization of micro-fibrillated cellulose fiber suspension flow using multi scale velocity profile measurements

Markku Kataja (Corresponding Author), Sanna Haavisto, Roope Lehto, Juha Salmela, Antti Koponen

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    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Rheological properties and boundary layer flow behavior of Micro Fibrillated Cellulose (MFC) suspended in water was studied using a novel velocity profiling rheometric technique. The method is based on measuring stationary velocity profiles of fluid flow in a straight tube simultaneously by Doppler Optical Coherence Tomography (DOCT) and by Ultrasound Velocity Profiling (UVP). The high resolution DOCT provides velocity profiles near the transparent tube wall, while UVP yields corresponding information in the interior parts of the flow. The data from the two instruments is combined into a comprehensive velocity profile including both the thin boundary layer near the wall and the interior parts of the flow. Within the boundary layer, concentration and thereby the viscosity of MFC is found to decrease towards the wall. At high flow rate, sublayer of virtually pure water is observed next to the wall, giving rise to apparent wall slip. The results from interior part of the flow show shear thinning behavior in qualitative agreement with results from conventional rheological methods. The results indicate that the new method can provide detailed experimental information on the rheology of MFC suspensions and their intricate boundary layer flow behavior, avoiding uncertainties inherent in many conventional rheological techniques.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)473-482
    JournalNordic Pulp and Paper Research Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    This work was part of the project Rheology of Complex Fluids funded by the Academy of Finland. The experiments were carried out in a laboratory facility of University of California in Davis, Department of Food Science and Technology, and were supported by EU COST Action FP1005. The authors highly appreciate collaboration with UC Davis, in particular with professor Michael J. McCarthy and professor Robert L. Powell.


    • microfibrillated cellulose suspension
    • optical coherence tomography
    • ultrasound velocity profiling
    • rheology
    • boundary layer
    • wall slip


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