Refining: Recycled Fiber for Tissue Production, 19PEERS
As recycled paper is increasingly used in papermaking, developing fibers to achieve sheet strength is a critical process. Promoting a strong fiber network for tissue production requires refining which is the process of changing the geometric structure of fibers. The process is accomplished by pumping fiber and water through refiner plates mounted on a rotor and stator, which fibrillate (external and internal fibrillation) the cell wall of fibers. The result is increased bonding area and improved sheet strength. The technological result of refining is determined by both the applied energy and intensity. Recycled fibers must be treated more gently by utilizing a refiner filling with low intensity because the fiber has been previously refined. A patented-technology known as Pluralis was released in 2006 offering low intensity refining in a plurality of recycled paper manufacturing applications.
Refining has a major impact on fiber development affecting paper properties and process conditions. Optimum refining of recycled fiber can increase bulk retention, increase sheet strength, lower energy usage and increase paper machine speed. The key is choosing the correct refiner filling design for the application. By understanding the challenging refining process, operational success can be achieved.
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