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Unique steel belt press for high strength wood-containing paper inaugurated

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A new steel belt has been inaugurated at MoRe in which strong packaging material from high yield pulp can be developed. The idea is to create prerequisites for today’s newsprint and magazine paper mills to modify their paper machines and pulp processes into production of packaging material which in several aspects are better than the present based on chemical pulp.

In a common project IPCO, MoRe Research, Mid Sweden University and industrial parties have created a unique steel belt press prototype in order to increase strength characteristics in lignin containing paper. IPCO has designed the steel belt press which is installed at MoRe Research. Pressure, temperature and speed can be varied in this press in order to evaluate and optimize process conditions. The steel belt press simulates industry conditions and will be an important step in commercialization of this technology.

“With our test results we hope that the steel belt technology will be accepted by the forest industry as an effective means of producing new materials based on wood. We believe that there is a potential to develop more applications. The cooperation with MoRe Research and Mid Sweden University is an excellent way of finding a new and exciting usage for our technology,” says Cherryleen Garcia-Lindgren, Global Innovation Manager at IPCO.

A PhD work to optimize the process is one part of this project.
“The goal of my postgraduate project is to develop strong packaging materials with a high wet strength based on high yield pulp,” says Tove Joelsson, PhD student at FORIC, the Mid Sweden University industrial research school, and working at MoRe Research. “Wet strength has a huge potential to replace plastic in many of the current types of packaging. Another important aim is to create prerequisites for production of TMP or CTMP at paper mills and modify paper machines for production of new packaging material.”

“It has been a great pleasure to work with MoRe Research in this research project and we have had great use of their new pilot plant,” says Per Engstrand, Professor Mechanical fibre technology, Mid Sweden University. “Our aim is to develop an environmentally friendly packaging paper from mechanical pulp with high wet strength.”

The steel belt press was inaugurated and demonstrated 13 December in the presence of representatives from MoRe, IPCO and Mid Sweden University as well as from the project group and financiers.

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