Paul Banham

Master Student
B. Sci (Hons)


Project Title
Optimisation of fibre suitable for newsprint production

Dr. Warren Batchelor

Project Description
The Norske Skog Boyer mill has recently converted its operations to a wholly softwood pulping operation.

The Boyer number 3 paper machine manufactures 130,000 tonnes per annum of newsprint and is now predominantly fed with the screen accepts and refined rejects from the new Thermomechanical pulp (TMP3) process with the remainder of the pulp being made up from the older TMP2 process and a small amount of kraft.

The mechanical action of the thermomechanical pulping process produces a fibrous material, with an extremely heterogenous size distribution. 

Key newsprint properties controlling runnability of newsprint through the printing press are the tensile strength and stretch. The factors controlling newsprint strength and stretch are well understood in qualitative terms, but quantitative predictions are currently poor.

The research in this Masters thesis will develop quantitative relationships between operating parameters in the pulping process and newsprint paper properties. A design of experiments approach will be used to run trials in the pulp mill investigating the key pulp mill operating variables. The pulps produced will be extensively analysed, including using automated fibre length and cross-sectional dimension analysers, screen fractionation systems, measurement of drainage properties and surface energy characteristics. The effect of pulp characteristics on sheet properties will be investigated using laboratory formation of sheets, under a range of formation conditions. The results obtained in the laboratory will be compared with results obtained from trials of different paper machine variables, such as the degree of wet pressing. The sheets produced by all methods will be characterised by a range of standard laboratory tests, under ISO specified temperature and humidity. 

Different theories of the strength of heterogenous non-wovens, such as newsprint, will be investigated to examine the accuracy of predictions and to improve the models. 

  1. Gujjari C; Batchelor W; Sudarno A; Banham P, (2009), ‘The relationship between tack and linting in offset printing of newsprint grades’, Tappi J. vol. 8, no. 8, pp. 4-8
  2. Mosbye J; Banham P; Stevenson V; Smith M; Brennan G (2008), ’Reducing spotting problems on printed newspaper: a full scale mill trial’ Appita, vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 25-27, 34
  3. Sudarno A; Batchelor W; Banham P; Gujjari C (2007), ‘Investigation of the effect of press and paper variables on linting during the offset printing of newsprint’, Tappi J., vol. 6, no. 9, pp. 25-31
  4. Voltaire J; Batchelor W; Fogden A; Sudarno A; Banham P (2007) ‘New technique for monitoring ink-water balance on an offset press’, Appita, vol. 60, no. 2, pp 120-128
  5. Sudarno A; Gujjari C; Rand S; Janko P; Batchelor W; Banham P (2006) ‘Comparison of size distributions of lint particles from different printing operations’, Appita, vol. 59, no. 5, pp. 385-390
  6. Bradley A; Chauhan S; Walker J; Banham P (2005) ‘Using acoustics in log segregation to optimise energy use in thermomechanical pulping’, Appita, vol. 58, no. 4, pp. 306-311
  7. Barnett V; Banham P; Yates B (2002) ‘Inhibition of photo-induced colour reversion of TMP and peroxide-bleached TMP by mercaptans’ Appita, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 27-34, 48
  8. Kube, PD, Raymond, CA & Banham, PW (2002), 'Genetic parameters for diameter, basic density, fibre properties and cellulose content for Eucalyptus nitens', Forest Genetics, vol. 8, pp. 285-294.
  9. Lisson S N; Banham P W; Mendham N J (2001),’Studies of fibre hemp and flax pulps as a feedstock for Australian newsprint production’, Appita, vol. 54, no. 5, pp 449-456.
  10. Raymond, CA, Banham, PW & MacDonald, AC (1998), 'Within tree variation and genetic control of basic density, fibre length and coarseness in Eucalyptus regnans in Tasmania', Appita, vol. 51, pp. 224-228.
  11. Beadle CL, Banham PW, Worledge D, Russell SL, Hetherington SJ, Honeysett JL, White DA (2000). ‘Irrigation increases growth and improves fibre quality of Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus nitens’, Appita Journal vol.54,pp. 144-147.
  12. Mahagaonkar M; Banham P; Stack K (1997), ’The effects of different furnishes and flotation conditions on the deinking of newsprint’, Prog. Pap. Recycling, vol. 6, no. 2,  pp. 50-58
  13. Mahagaonkar M; Banham P (1995), ‘Effect of deinking on optical and physical properties of secondary fibre after pulping and flotation’. Appita, vol. 48, no. 6, pp. 429-434
  14. Barnett V; Banham P; Yates B (1995), ‘A search for an artificial light source closely resembling the photoreversion responses of Thermomechanical pulps exposed to sunlight’, Appita, vol. 48, no. 4, pp. 288-294
  15. Flowers A G; Banham P W; Bonham J S (1986) ‘Comparison of some colour measuring equipment’, Appita, vol. 39, no. 4, pp. 307-309
  16. Flowers A G; Banham P W (1985) ‘The bleaching of eucalypt Groundwood with hydrogen peroxide’, Appita, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 127-131
Bachelor of Science (Honours), Adelaide University
Master of Engineering, Monash University

Other Experiences
Research Scientist and now Senior Scientist for Australian Newsprint Mills, Fletcher Challenge Paper and Norske Skog Paper Mills based at the company’s Research & Development Department at Boyer Tasmania.

Product Development of improved news grades and includes pilot coating trials.

Research into mechanical pulping of softwoods and hardwood including lab, pilot scale (overseas) and actual plant operation.

Research into bleaching and dyeing of hardwood and softwood pulps.

Design, execution and analysis of laboratory and pilot plant experimentation. Planning and execution of mill trials.

Customer support related research into linting, pressroom deposits and premature printing plate wear, including design and execution of laboratory and pressroom scale experimentation.

3 month secondment to Malaysian Newsprint Industries at start-up of its operations. Set up technical lab, trained technicians and some process investigation.
April 1982 – Present