The development of fast and practical methods for inspecting fiber suspensions is of great interest in the paper making industry. For process control and paper quality prediction, several elements of the refining process during paper making must be accurately monitored, including specific fiber properties, weight percent fiber (composition), degree of refining, amount of solids, and entrained air content. The results of previous ultrasonic studies applied to wood pulp provide guidance that ultrasound attenuation is information rich, and it does potentially provide a tool for consistency measurement. Ultrasound has the ability to penetrate dense suspensions such as wood pulp slurries. It is has been shown, in some studies, that ultrasound is sensitive to degree of refining. The effects of entrained air, additives, the origin and treatment of the fibers do however all influence the measured data. A series of measurements were made with hardwood and softwood slurries to evaluate the ability of measuring pulp consistency, solids, and entrained air. The attenuation through the slurry was measured as the ultrasound travels from one transducer through the slurry to the other. The measurements identified the presence of entrained air in the pulp samples. To better understand the effects of air, measurements were made at increasing pressures to show how increased pressure reduced the amount of air observed in the spectrum.

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