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A number of water flow problems in porous media are modelled by Richards’ equation [1]. There exist a lot of different applications of this model. We are concerned with the simulation of the pressing section of a paper machine. This part of the industrial process provides the dewatering of the paper layer by the use of clothings, i.e. press felts, which absorb the water during pressing [2]. A system of nips are formed in the simplest case by rolls, which increase sheet dryness by pressing against each other (see Figure 1). A lot of theoretical studies were done for Richards’ equation (see [3], [4] and references therein). Most articles consider the case of x-independent coefficients. This simplifies the system considerably since, after Kirchhoff’s transformation of the problem, the elliptic operator becomes linear. In our case this condition is not satisfied and we have to consider nonlinear operator of second order. Moreover, all these articles are concerned with the nonstationary problem, while we are interested in the stationary case. Due to complexity of the physical process our problem has a specific feature. An additional convective term appears in our model because the porous media moves with the constant velocity through the pressing rolls. This term is zero in immobile porous media. We are not aware of papers, which deal with such kind of modified steady Richards’ problem. The goal of this paper is to obtain the stability results, to show the existence of a solution to the discrete problem, to prove the convergence of the approximate solution to the weak solution of the modified steady Richards’ equation, which describes the transport processes in the pressing section. In Section 2 we present the model which we consider. In Section 3 a numerical scheme obtained by the finite volume method is given. The main part of this paper is theoretical studies, which are given in Section 4. Section 5 presents a numerical experiment. The conclusion of this work is given in Section 6.

This work presents the dynamic capillary pressure model (Hassanizadeh, Gray, 1990, 1993a) adapted for the needs of paper manufacturing process simulations. The dynamic capillary pressure-saturation relation is included in a one-dimensional simulation model for the pressing section of a paper machine. The one-dimensional model is derived from a two-dimensional model by averaging with respect to the vertical direction. Then, the model is discretized by the finite volume method and solved by Newton’s method. The numerical experiments are carried out for parameters typical for the paper layer. The dynamic capillary pressure-saturation relation shows significant influence on the distribution of water pressure. The behaviour of the solution agrees with laboratory experiments (Beck, 1983).

This work presents a proof of convergence of a discrete solution to a continuous one. At first, the continuous problem is stated as a system
of equations which describe filtration process in the pressing section of a
paper machine. Two flow regimes appear in the modeling of this problem.
The model for the saturated flow is presented by the Darcy’s law and the mass conservation. The second regime is described by the Richards approach together with a dynamic capillary pressure model. The finite
volume method is used to approximate the system of PDEs. Then the existence of a discrete solution to proposed finite difference scheme is proven.
Compactness of the set of all discrete solutions for different mesh sizes is
proven. The main Theorem shows that the discrete solution converges
to the solution of continuous problem. At the end we present numerical
studies for the rate of convergence.

The paper production is a problem with significant importance for the society
and it is a challenging topic for scientific investigations. This study is concerned
with the simulations of the pressing section of a paper machine. A two-dimensional
model is developed to account for the water flow within the pressing zone. Richards’
type equation is used to describe the flow in the unsaturated zone. The dynamic capillary
pressure–saturation relation proposed by Hassanizadeh and co-workers (Hassanizadeh
et al., 2002; Hassanizadeh, Gray, 1990, 1993a) is adopted for the paper
production process.
The mathematical model accounts for the co-existence of saturated and unsaturated
zones in a multilayer computational domain. The discretization is performed
by the MPFA-O method. The numerical experiments are carried out for parameters
which are typical for the production process. The static and dynamic capillary
pressure–saturation relations are tested to evaluate the influence of the dynamic
capillary effect.