History of Paper Research Materials

We thank you for your interest in our website. We are papermakers and the following is a short history of the development of the Britt Dynamic Drainage Jar and the papermaking application it fulfills.

The Britt Jar was developed to study how chemicals added to the wet end system of a paper machine effect the retention of fines solids during the papermaking operation. Fines are the mineral and cellulose solids (less than 76m in diameter) that pass through the forming fabric during the manufacture of paper. In the late 1960ís, new retention aids (water soluble polymers that carry charge) were introduced to the paper industry at a phenomenal rate. At that time, the effectiveness of these retention aids were evaluated by either making handsheets or directly on the paper machine. As the handsheet is formed in a low shear environment, all additives, including alum, deliver high levels of fines retention. It was difficult to differentiate between retention aids of different charge and molecular weight. In addition, the results did not correlate directly with those seen on paper machines. In contrast to a handsheet, a commercial sheet was formed on the paper machine in a dynamic, high shear environment. Testing directly on the paper machine, although a true test of performance, proved to be risky (sheet breaks, unacceptable formation, contamination of the white water system) and expensive.

In the early 1970ís, research carried out on retention and drainage by Ken Britt and John Unbehend at the Empire State Paper Research Institute at Syracuse, New York, led them to develop a device that would more closely mimic the retention and drainage responses they had observed in their work with water soluble polymers in the lab and on various paper machines. Kenís original interest, sparked by work he had done on paper machine water removal during his many years in the paper industry, was to learn about drainage under dynamic conditions. This new device, the Britt Dynamic Drainage Jar (DDJ), soon proved to be more useful in measuring fines contents of papermaking stock system as well as the retention of fines. Not only did this provide an excellent means of rating the effectiveness of retention aids, it also correlated well with the retention responses seen with additives on paper machines.

Although the drainage work was de-emphasized at this time, one holdover of the original work was the name originally coined to describe the equipment: The Britt Dynamic Drainage Jar.

The Britt Jar is extensively used throughout the industry as a quick, accurate and uncomplicated way of studying fines retention. It is used by those carrying out research on polymer additives and retention aids because of its ability to mimic performance on the paper machine. Those in the sales/service end of the industry consider it an excellent way of demonstrating the effectiveness of their chemical additives to the papermaker. The papermaker has used it to great effect to screen the wide variety of chemicals that are offered. It also insures that before these materials are trialed on the paper machine they will not interfere with the action of other additives in the system.

In the past 35 years, over 2,500 Britt Jars have been sold throughout the world. It is the standard in the industry (Tappi Standard-261) for the evaluation of chemical additive performance. It provides colloid chemists, papermakers, chemical sale technicians, and paper chemists a tool to study the dynamics of the wet end of a paper machine. This in turn has allowed a better understanding of the molecular interactions and the ultimate performance of polymer additives on the paper machine.

Original Britt Drainage Jar