Upscaling of foam forming technology for pilot scale, TAPPI JOURNAL August 2019

Application: Use of aqueous foam as a process fluid instead of conventional water permits enhancement to paper and board production and products. Enhancement in dewatering and increased dryness after wet pressing enable savings in drying energy consumption and offer improved formation, higher bulk of the web, and light-weighting of current products.  

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Picture of the productUpscaling of foam forming technology for pilot scale, TAPPI
ABSTRACT: The need for production cost savings and changes in the global paper and board industry during recent years have been constants. Changes in the global paper and board industry during past years have increased the need for more cost-efficient processes and production technologies. It is known that in paper and board production, foam typically leads to problems in the process rather than improvements in production efficiency. Foam forming technology, where foam is used as a carrier phase and a flowing medium, exploits the properties of dispersive foam. In this study, the possibility of applying foam forming technology to paper applications was investigated using a pilot scale paper forming environment modified for foam forming from conventional water forming. According to the results, the shape of jet-to-wire ratios was the same in both forming methods, but in the case of foam forming, the achieved scale of jet-to-wire ratio and MD/CD-ratio were wider and not behaving sensitively to shear changes in the forming section as a water forming process would. This kind of behavior would be beneficial when upscaling foam technology to the production scale. The dryness results after the forming section indicated the improvement in dewatering, especially when foam density was at the lowest level (i.e., air content was at the highest level). In addition, the dryness results after the pressing section indicated a faster increase in the dryness level as a function of foam density, with all density levels compared to the corresponding water formed sheets. According to the study, the bonding level of water- and foam-laid structures were at the same level when the highest wet pressing value was applied. The results of the study show that the strength loss often associated with foam forming can be compensat-ed for successfully through wet pressing.

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