Increased dryness after pressing and wet web strength by utilizing foam application technology, November 2016 TAPPI JOURNAL
ABSTRACT: Production cost savings by lowering basis weight has been a trend in papermaking. The strategy has been to decrease the amount of softwood kraft pulp and increase use of fillers and recycled fibers. These changes have a tendency to lower strength properties of both the wet and dry web. To compensate for the strength loss in the paper, a greater quantity of strength additives is often required, either dosed at the wet end or applied to the wet web by spray. In this pilot-scale study, it was shown how strength additives can be effectively applied with foambased application technology. The technology can simultaneously increase dryness after wet pressing and enhance dry and wet web strength properties. Foam application of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH), carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), guar gum, starch, and cellulose microfibrils (CMF) increased web dryness after wet pressing up to 5.2%-units compared to the reference sample. The enhanced dewatering with starch, guar gum, and CMF was detected with a bulk increase. Additionally, a significant increase in z-directional tensile strength of dry web and and in-plane tensile strength properties of wet web was obtained. Based on the results, foam application technology can be a very useful technology for several applications in the paper industry.
Application: Foam-based application technology is an interesting tool for developing new cost-efficient solutions for the paper industry. Increased solids content and improved wet strength of the web after pressing imply direct energy savings during drying, improvements in wet web runnability, and possible material saving through improved bulk. The technology may also enable possibilities for chemical savings with respect to the wet end application.
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