Characterization of the Interface Between Coating and Fibrous Layers of Paper
Coated paper is an example of a multi-layer porous medium, involving a coating layer along the two surfaces of the paper and a fibrous layer in the interior of the paper. The interface between these two media needs to be characterized in order to develop relevant modeling tools. After careful cutting of the paper, a cross section was imaged using focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy. The resulting image was analyzed to characterize the coating layer and its transition to the fibrous layer. Such image analysis showed that the coating layer thickness is highly variable, with a significant fraction of it being thinner than a minimum thickness required to keep ink from invading into the fibrous layer. The overall structure of the coating and fibrous layers observed in this analysis provide insights into how the system should be modeled, with the resulting conclusion pointing to a specific kind of multi-scale modeling approach.