FPInnovations takes on tissue dusting, converting efficiency

FPInnovations, Point Claire, QC, is addressing some of the issues surrounding the ability of tissue makers to meet the increasing customer demand for softer tissue products such as ultra-soft bath and facial tissues.

• Increased softness leads to increased dusting and linting. Daniel Ricard, manager of innovative pilot Tools, recently reported the results of trials on reducing linting in a paper entitled The use of aspen kraft as part of tissue furnish to reduce linting.

“Eucalyptus pulp is widely used in tissue-making because of its good bulk and softness,” explained Ricard. “But tissue dusting and linting is a growing issue for consumers because tissue makers are pursuing higher bulk and softness. Our research shows that aspen kraft can be an effective means of reducing tissue linting”.

Ricard, along with FPInnovations researchers Ho Fan Jang, lead scientist, and Tony Manfred, principle technologist, co-authored the research, which progressively replaced eucalyptus pulp with aspen kraft while maintaining the softwood constant. The study explored the causes of tissue dusting and linting with a view to developing strategies to minimize the issue.

The bottom line is that tissue linting can be reduced by replacing a portion of eucalyptus pulp with aspen kraft while maintaining tensile strength, bulk and softness.

• The FPInnovations paper and consumer products group is leading research to quantify base tissue sheet variations and the presence of defects then relating them to converting efficiency, all with an eye to minimizing defects in tissue-making.

Converting base tissue sheets has traditionally been the poor cousin of the big, expensive tissue machines themselves but as tissue makers increasingly seek out softer tissue products, the science of converting tissue efficiently is growing in importance.

In base tissue converting, raw sheets of tissue are converted into consumer products like facial and bath tissue in a large converting line by embossing, cutting, gluing and packaging. Web breaks occur during converting because of the poor strength and variation of the tissue properties, especially with the softer, bulkier products. Sheet breaks cost money.

Converting efficiency is the portion of tissue required for a converting line to run continuously. With the use of a Roll Testing Facility (RTF), manager Frédéric Parent and scientist Nina Deng are studying the variations in CD and MD tissue properties including strength, basis weight, bulk softness and winding tensions.

Converting efficiency is a key performance indicator and tissue makers with higher converting efficiencies have lower costs and a competitive edge, says FPInnovations.

Converting efficiency is a key performance indicator and tissue makers with higher converting efficiencies have lower costs and a competitive edge, says FPInnovations.

The research team also applied a mathematical formula developed for printing and writing paper to quantify the variation of tissue strength (m factor) in the MD. This can be used to fingerprint variations created in tissue making and benchmark the performance of different tissue machines. “Our members have already been using our findings to reduce variations on their tissue base sheet properties and are starting to see positive results,” said Deng.

FPInnovations, www.fpinnovations.ca

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