Editor: Professor Jouni Paltakari, Aalto University

Natural fibre products

Everything you need to know about the paper, board, tissue and other everyday commodities

 

 

Natural fibre products are widely present in our everyday life in different forms and ways. This Natural fibre products theme presents products manufactured mainly from wood biomass by chemical or mechanical pulping. In addition to these pulps, recycled fibres form an important raw material source.

Wood is a renewable raw material. Sustainable forestry including planting of new trees is essential for the whole forest industry. At pulp mill after different wood handling operations, fibres are separated from wood by mechanical or chemical means. Paper or board mills convert fibres into different types of products, which have numerous end use areas in our society.

In the beginning of this theme, the main characteristics and end uses, basic structures and introduction to the production and processing methods are reviewed regarding the following product groups:

These products can be further converted in order to introduce specific functional properties to customer products. Natural fibre products are mainly biodegradable and recyclable. The recycled fibres return back to production process and it further increases the sustainability of natural fibre products.

After discussing the basic properties and end uses of the main natural fibre products, the theme provides five more sections focusing on the key processes, technologies and phenomena behind the products as follows:

This section provides an overview to the many process phases and key equipment related to the production of paper and board, including e.g. stock and water systems, web forming and wet pressing, drying methods, surface sizing and pigment coating and finishing operations such as calendering, reeling and winding.

Specific functional properties, such as barrier properties can be added by converting of paper and board. This section reviews some of these coating, lamination or special treatment operations.

Papermaking additives such as mineral fillers and pigments, functional chemicals and process chemicals play an important role in managing and improving the papermaking process. This section provides an overview on the main characteristics and key implications of these important chemicals.

If you tear a sheet of a paper into two pieces you may observe that the edges of the pieces are not even. They look rough and uneven, but why? This section discusses some of the key phenomena related to paper physics, e.g. related to paper structure, formation and fibre orientation.

The final section reviews the most common printing methods for paper and board such as flexography, rotogravure and offset methods, as well as basic principles related to digital printing methods.