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MoRe Research develops steel belt for strong packaging
In a common project IPCO (previously Sandvik Process Systems), 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 thus designed the steel belt press which was installed at MoRe a few months ago and is now up and running. 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 future commercialization of this technology.
Steel band and steel band technology is today used in niche industrial processes with high demands on durability, heat resistance, surface-performance and life-span.
The press is 40 cm wide and equipped with a 0.8 mm steel belt. It is heated with infrared heat and the temperature can thus quickly be changed from room temperature to ca. 250oC. The pressing is done through a cylinder pressing the paper against the steel belt in two press nips. The belt speed can be varied between 0.3 and 3.0 meters a minute. The steel belt press simulates industry conditions and will be an important step in future 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 paper from mechanical pulp with high wet strength which could be used in e.g. different types of packaging.”
The steel band press was inaugurated and demonstrated 13 December in the presence of representatives from MoRe, IPCO and Mid Sweden University as well as from project group and financiers.