David W. Vahey
Materials Research Engineer (Volunteer)
Forest Products Laboratory
Madison, WI 53726-2398
My main research interest has been the study of fiber and stiffness orientation in paper and their influence on paper performance. Lasers, ultrasonics and image analysis are the main tools used for these investigations. Most work has focused on in-plane distribution of fibers in paper, but, in cooperation with colleague John Considine, study has expanded to the poorly understood distribution of tilted fibers in paper and its possible importance to paper strength. Optical tools used in this research have evolved toward the study of fibers as they exist in the tree itself. Colleague Tim Scott and I have developed a prototype instrument called Ring Profiler for imaging tree cores to produce a map of density development throughout the life of the tree, a patented method potentially useful to the study and amelioration of climate change. Similar imaging tools have been applied to measurement of fiber sedimentation and formation in paper, the evolution of lignin removal in refining (using thermal imaging), and the evolution of ink removal in refining (using near-infrared light scattering).
New techniques for pulp, paper and wood structural measurements using optical and infrared imaging and light scattering
Metrology using lasers, LEDs, spectroscopy (including UV, NIR and IR), optics (including fiber optics), imaging and image processing, piezoelectrics, ultrasonics, scattering and absorption (especially Kubelka-Munk), holography and speckle interferometry.
Why This Research is Important
Increased application of modern measurement technologies to traditional subjects will open new opportunities.
- Caltech, Ph.D. Lasers and Quantum Electronics, 1973
- Caltech, M.S. Lasers and Quantum Electronics, 1967
- MIT, B.S. Physics, 1966
- Materials Research Engineer, Forest Products Laboratory
2005 - Current
Metrology-Based Research for Advancing the Health and Productivity of Our National Forests
- Principal Scientist, International Paper
1989 - 2004
Development of Proprietary Instrumentation for Paper Quality and Mill Productivity
- Principal Physicist, AccuRay Corporation
1982 - 1988
Development of On-Machine Sensors for Improving Paper Quality
- Principal Research Scientist, Battelle Memorial Institute
1974 - 1981
Integrated and Fiber Optics, Holography, Optical Inspection
- Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI), Member (1982 - Current)
- Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, Member (1976 - Current)
Awards & Recognition
- Industrial R&D Magazine Top 100 Award, 1973
An Instrument for the Measurement of Defects in Intraocular Lenses
Featured Publications & Products
- Vahey, David W.; Scott, C. Tim; Zhu, J.Y.; Skog, Kenneth E. 2012. Ring profiler: a new method for estimating tree-ring density for improved estimates of carbon storage.
- Vahey, David W.; Considine, John M.; Kahra, Andy; Scotch, Mark. 2008. Comparison of fiber orientation and tensile-stiffness orientation measurements in paper.
- Vahey, David W.; Zhu, Junyong; Houtman, Carl J. 2007. A new approach to measurement of effective residual ink concentration of deinked papers.
- Vahey, David W.; Considine, John M. 2010. Tests for z-direction fibre orientation in paper.
Publications & Products
- Considine, J.M.; Pierron, F.; Turner, K.T.; Vahey, D.W. 2014. General Anisotropy Identification of Paperboard with Virtual Fields Method.
- Vahey, David W.; Considine, John M.; and MacGregor, Michael A. 2013. Influence of forming conditions on fiber tilt.
- Scott, C. Tim; Vahey, David W. 2012. Analysis of tracheid development in suppressed-growth Ponderosa Pine using the FPL ring profiler.
- Considine, John M.; Vahey, David W.; Evans, James W.; Turner, Kevin T.; Rowlands, Robert E. 2011. Evaluation of strength-controlling defects in paper by stress concentration analyses.
- Li, Bo; Wang, Gaosheng; Chen, Kefu; Vahey, David W.; Zhu, Junyong. 2011. On quantification of residual ink content and deinking efficiency in recycling of mixed office waste paper.
- Tozzi, E.J.; Scott, C Tim; Vahey, David; Klingenberg, D.J. 2011. Settling dynamics of asymmetric rigid fibers.
- Considine, John M.; Vahey, David W.; Gleisner, Roland; Rudie, Alan; Rolland du Roscoat, Sabine; Bloch, Jean-Francis. 2010. Z-direction fiber orientation in paperboard.
- Considine, J.M.; Skye, W.; Chen, W.; Matthys, D.; Vahey, David W.; Turner, K.; Rowlands, R. 2009. Enhancing paper strength by optimizing defect configuration.
- Vahey, David W.; Considine, John M.; Gleisner, Roland; Rudie, Alan; Rolland du Roscoat, Sabine; Bloch, Jean-Francis. 2009. Impact of z-direction fiber orientation on performance of commercial and laboratory linerboards.
- Considine, John M.; Vahey, David W. 2008. Investigation of fiber tilt in paperboard.
- Zhu, J.Y.; Vahey, David W.; Scott, C. Tim. 2008. Some observations of wood density and anatomical properties in a Douglas-fir sample with suppressed growth.
- Vahey, David W.; Considine, John M. 2008. Surface and subsurface fiber-orientation-angle measurements in three office papers.
- Zhu, Junyong; Vahey, David W.; Scott, C. Tim; Myers, Gary C. 2007. Effect of tree-growth rate on papermaking fiber properties.
- Zhu, J.Y.; Scott, C.T.; Gleisner, R.; Mann, D.; Vahey, D.W.; Dykstra, D.P.; Quinn, G.H.; Edwards, L.L. 2007. Forest thinnings for integrated lumber and paper production.
- Vahey, David W.; Considine, John M. 2007. Tests for Z-direction fiber orientation.
- Vahey, David W.; Zhu, J. Y.; Scott, C. Tim. 2007. Wood density and anatomical properties in suppressed-growth trees : comparison of two methods.
- Vahey, David W.; Zhu, Junyong; Scott, C. Tim. 2006.
Comparison of SilviScan and optical imaging measurements of tracheid dimensions and wood density.