Date of Award


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Paper Science and Engineering


With the growth in use of recycled material for the production of paper has come the problem of contaminants. The contaminants cause all sorts of problems in the paper making system. The most problematic and costly group of contaminants are known as "stickies." The current methods for detecting stickies are both time consuming and subjective to operator opinions. With the use of infrared thermography, both of these problems can be solved.

Handsheets containing various contaminants were made to two different weights, on two different handsheet formers. These handsheets were placed in an oven to raise their temperature to 105°F. The sheets were removed from the oven one at a time and scanned using an Agema 470 infrared camera. During the scans a digital picture was taken and stored on a 3.5" computer disk. The images were analyzed using IRwin computer software.

The images showed that the large chunks of milk jug and silica gel could easily be detected, but the small pieces of sandwich bag, trash bag, and cleaner rejects could not. The detectability of the materials depended primarily on their thickness.