Date of Award


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Paper Science and Engineering


Linear programming is a mathematical technique used to optimize complex physical processes. Due to rising pulp costs, the need to minimize the costs of raw materials in paper furnishes is acute. This paper studies the potential of linear programming as a tool to design furnishes meeting designated paper specifications while minimizing raw material costs. The flexibility of linear programming is discussed and the applicability of linear models describing multi-component furnishes with their effect on paper properties is investigated. Some paper properties were found to fit well with the linear model. Some of these were opacity, smoothness, tensile, mullen, and tear. At the same time, other properties such as porosity and fold exhibited distinctly nonlinear characteristics. There was a direct relation between the linear blending characteristics of a property and the success or failure with which the linear programming method could be used to design a specific furnish to meet the requirements of that property. Filler in the furnish presents more problems to accurate linear programming results. There are strong indications, however, that experience and careful tuning of the filler's coefficients in the linear programming equations can overcome most of the initial shortcomings found in this report.