Co-ground mineral/microfibrillated cellulose composite materials:  Recycled fibers, engineered minerals, and new product forms, TAPPI Journal January 2021

Application: The work reported in this paper will be useful to paper and board producers and converters who are interested in using MFC for grade and application development and to achieve cost savings.

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Author: David Skuse, Jonathan Phipps, and Tom Larson
Co-ground mineral/microfibrillated cellulose composite mater
ABSTRACT: When pulp and minerals are co-processed in suspension, the mineral acts as a grinding aid, allowing costeffective production of mineral/microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) composite materials. This processing uses robust milling equipment and is practiced at industrial scale. The resulting products can be used in many applications, including as wet- and dry-strength aids in paper and board production.Previously, we have reported that use of these MFC composite materials in fiber-based applications allow generally improved wet and dry mechanical properties with concomitant opportunities for cost savings, property improvements, or grade developments. Mineral/MFC composites made with recycled pulp feedstocks were shown to offer at least equivalent strength aid performance to composites made using virgin fibers. Selection of mineral and fiber allows preparation of mineral/MFC composites with a range of properties. For example, the viscosity of such formulations was shown to be controlled by the shape factor of the mineral chosen, effective barrier formulations were prepared, and mineral/MFC composites with graphite as the mineral were prepared.High-solids mineral/MFC composites were prepared at 75% total solids (37% fibril solids). When resuspended and used for papermaking, these high-solids products gave equivalent performance to never-dried controls.

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