Microscopy/Contaminate Identification

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Microscopy/Contaminate Identification

Pulp & Paper Microscopy

Many properties of pulp or paper can be associated with the properties of the species/genus of the fibers that comprise it. If your product isn’t performing the way you expect, you might not have the blend of fiber types or species that you intended. Identifying the species (genus) of fibers in a pulp or paper product is a specialized skill acquired through years of practice and experience at the microscope.

At low magnifications, stereoscopes allow us to examine, isolate and identify contaminants, like shives or ash or other particles, that are embedded in a sheet of pulp or paper. Usine higher magnifications with our compound microscopes we can examine the amount of damage to fibers or hardwood vessels at various stages of pulp treatment. Photomicrographic images of product surfaces and edges can effectively communicate what is happening at the fiber level.

Some examples of what we do:

Fiber Analysis

  • Identify wood and/or non-wood species in wood chip, pulp and paper samples.
  • Determine hardwood/softwood content ratios.
  • Analyze papers for chemical/mechanical pulp ratio.

Contaminant Identification

  • Identify pulp and paper contaminants like shives, plastics, and particulates.
  • Characterize reject materials.

Measure dimensions and ratios of furnish constituents

  • Measure average cell wall thickness and fiber diameters in pulps.
  • Determine hardwood vessel-to-fiber ratios and analyze vessel size and damage.
  • Identify and count: sclereids, stickies and ink particles.

Special Projects: Develop and perform custom microscopical analyses for unique perspectives on products.

Photomicrography: Capture high-resolution photomicrographs to show fiber characteristics, document product condition or defects, show printability problems, use images for marketing purposes, amongst many other applications.


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Econotech offers a wide range of services for the pulp, paper and biofuels industry.

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We accept worldwide orders for analysis. Please send your samples here.
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