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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  NASDAQ OMX HELSINKI LTD.  >  Stora Enso OYJ    STERV   FI0009005961

STORA ENSO OYJ

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Patent Issued for Hydrophobically Sized Fibrous Web And A Method For The Preparation Of A Sized Web Layer (USPTO 10,364,533): Stora Enso OYJ

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08/14/2019 | 05:08pm EDT

2019 AUG 14 (NewsRx) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Engineering Business Daily -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by NewsRx journalists, a patent by the inventors Heiskanen, Isto (Imatra, FI); Kinnunen, Karita (Vtt, FI); Hjelt, Tuomo (Vtt, FI), filed on May 5, 2017, was published online on August 12, 2019.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 10,364,533, is Stora Enso OYJ (Helsinki, Finland).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: “In the paper industry foam technique, where foam is used as a carrier phase of materials, has been used in both web formation and web coating processes. The technique is described e.g. in the publications Radvan, B., Gatward, A. P. J., The formation of wet-laid webs by a foaming process, Tappi, vol 55 (1972) p. 748; a report by Wiggins Teape Research and Development Ltd., New process uses foam in papermaking instead of avoiding it, Paper Trade Journal, Nov. 29, 1971; and Smith, M. K., Punton, V. W., Rixson, A. G., The structure and properties of paper formed by a foaming process, TAPPI, January 1974, Vol. 57, No 1, pp. 107-111.

“In GB 1 395 757 there is described an apparatus for producing a foamed fiber dispersion for use in the manufacture of paper. A surface active agent is added to fibrous pulp with a fibre length in excess of about 3 mm, to provide a dispersion with an air content of at least 65%, to be discharged onto the forming fabric of a papermaking machine. The aim is to achieve uniform formation of the fibrous web on the fabric.

“By the middle of the 1970s the foam forming process had been successfully demonstrated on a production machine. In the Wiggins Teape Radfoam process (Arjo Wiggins) fibres were delivered to the wire of a conventional Fourdrinier paper machine in suspension in aqueous foam. The development team obtained a non-layered 3D structure in papers made on a Fourdrinier machine at very high concentrations of fibres (3-5%) in water using foam.

“When comparing foam and water forming methods one trend is clear. With foam forming the bulk is bigger, but the tensile index is smaller. With a bulkier structure the structure is more porous, which leads to smaller tensile index values. An interesting result from a comparison of water and foam laid samples was that tensile stiffness indexes in both cases were very close even though foam formed samples were much bulkier. The reason for that is currently unknown and requires further research.

“Surfactants used in the foaming process have a negative influence on both the dry and wet tensile strength of a paper web.

“The tensile strength loss may be explained by a decrease in the dry tensile strength of a paper sheet as surfactants are adsorbed on fibre surfaces hindering hydrogen bonding between the fibres. The initial wet strength is reduced by surfactants, especially for a dry content of 8-25%, due to a reduction in surface tension which results from the weakening of the main force holding the wet sheet together.

“According to current understanding the main problems, which have prevented foam forming from becoming a standard web forming technology in paper, paperboard and cardboard production, are: too high porosity in some applications, reduced strength properties compared to normal low consistency wet forming, inferior Scott bond, inferior tensile strength, and inferior elastic modulus.

“A particular problem relating to preparation of hydrophobically sized fibrous webs by foaming techniques is that with time surfactants tend to spoil the sizing. For its function in an aqueous medium the surfactant must have a hydrophobic aspect and a hydrophilic aspect, usually hydrophobic and hydrophilic moieties as opposite end groups, respectively. However, in the dried web the known surfactants, e.g. those mentioned in GB 1 395 757, gradually lose their hydrophobic functionality and turn entirely hydrophilic, thus detracting from the hydrophobic sizing. Thus far foaming has not been applied to the manufacture of hydrophobically sized papers or boards. With foam forming a higher bulk (lower density) can be obtained as compared to normal wet forming. For typical printing and packaging paper and board grades the main drawbacks are the loss of elastic modulus (‘softness’) and internal strength (Scott bond or z-strength). However, the same characteristics are advantages in tissue making. Thus foam forming has been much more common in tissue paper products.

“A more recent approach of improved papermaking, aiming at improving dewatering and retention of papermaking chemicals in a fibrous web formed on a forming fabric, is incorporation of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) in the pulp suspension. U.S. Pat. No. 6,602,994 B1 teaches use of derivatized MFC with electrostatic or steric functionality for the goals, which even include better formation of the web. According to the reference the microfibrils have a diameter in the range of 5 to 100 nm.

“However, the drawbacks experienced with MFC are densification and high drying shrinkage of the paper, as well as a tendency of MFC to absorb and retain a substantial amount of water, which increases the energy required for drying and reduces paper machine speed and productivity. For these reasons MFC has not won extensive use in paper industry so far.”

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, NewsRx editors also obtained the inventors’ summary information for this patent: “The object of the present invention is to overcome or substantially reduce the above problems regarding printing and packaging papers and boards, by way of finding a method of making a hydrophobically sized fibrous layer by foam forming, in which the hydrophobic sizing will stand with time. The solution according to the invention is production of a web layer through the steps of (i) bringing water, microfibrillated cellulose (MFC), hydrophobic size, and a heat-sensitive surfactant into a foam, (ii) supplying the foam onto a forming fabric, (iii) dewatering the foam on the forming fabric by suction to form a web, (iv) subjecting the web to drying, and (v) heating the web to suppress the hydrophilic functionality of the surfactant.

“In certain aspects of the present invention, the hydrophobic size is alkyl ketene dimer (AKD) or a derivate thereof.

“In certain aspects of the present invention, the surfactant is decomposed by heat, removing the hydrophilic moiety from a hydrophobic residue. In certain aspects, the surfactant is formed from an AKD precursor by activation with a base, an alcohol or water. In certain aspects, the surfactant is turned insoluble by heat. In certain aspects, the surfactant is linear ethoxylated C.sub.11-alcohol.

“In certain aspects of the present invention, protein, such as casein, is incorporated in the foam for stabilizing the same.

“In certain aspects of the present invention, starch is incorporated in the foam for additional sizing of the web.

“In certain aspects of the present invention, a pulp of a greater fibre length is incorporated in the foam. In certain aspects, the pulp of a greater fibre length is mechanical pulp, such as chemithermomechanical pulp (CTMP). In certain aspects of the present invention, the fibrous components incorporated in the foam consist of about 40 wt-% of WC and about 60 to 95 wt-% of pulp with longer fibres.

“In certain aspects of the present invention, a continuous fibrous web is formed on a running forming fabric of a paper or board machine, dewatered by suction through the web and the forming fabric, and finally dried in a drying section of the paper or board machine.

“In certain aspects of the present invention, a method for providing a hydrophobically sized coating layer on a fibrous web, comprising the steps of (i) bringing water, microfibrillated cellulose (WC), hydrophobic size, and a heat-sensitive surfactant into a foam, (ii) supplying the foam as a coat onto said fibrous web, (iii) subjecting the coat to drying, and (iv) heating the coat to suppress the hydrophilic functionality of the surfactant.

“In certain aspects of the present invention, the hydrophobically sized fibrous web obtainable by the method of according to certain aspects of the present invention comprises a mixture of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) and a pulp of a greater fibre length, together with a hydrophobic size, the web having a bulk of at least 2.5 cm.sup.3/g. In some aspects, the web has a bulk of 3 to 7 cm.sup.3/g. In some aspects, the web has a Scott bond value of 120 to 200 J/m.sup.2. In some aspects, the web comprises starch as a further sizing component. In some aspects, the pulp of a greater fibre length is mechanical pulp, such as CTMP. In some aspects, the fibrous components of the web consist of about 5 to 40 wt-% of MFC and about 60 to 95 wt-% of pulp with longer fibres.

“In certain aspects of the present invention, a multilayer board is formed, characterized in that at least one of the layers is a fibrous web according to certain aspects of the present invention. In certain aspects, the board is liquid board comprising a fibrous web as a middle layer, and on both sides of said middle layer outer layers of a bulk lower than in the middle layer.

“According to certain aspects, the present invention is directed to use of a heat-sensitive surfactant for forming a hydrophobically sized layer of a fibrous web, by bringing water, cellulosic fibres, hydrophobic size and said heat-sensitive surfactant into a foam, supplying the foam as a layer onto a substrate, subjecting the layer to drying, and heating the layer to suppress the hydrophilic functionality of the surfactant. In certain aspects, the cellulosic fibres comprise microfibrillated cellulose (MFC). In certain aspects, the foam is supplied as a coating layer to a fibrous web, which forms the substrate. In certain aspects, the cellulosic fibres comprise MFC mixed with pulp of a greater fibre length, and the foam is supplied as a layer onto a forming fabric serving as the substrate, to be dewatered by suction and formed to a fibrous web.

“The above summary is not intended to describe each illustrated embodiment or every implementation of the subject matter hereof. The figures and the detailed description that follow more particularly exemplify various embodiments.”

The claims supplied by the inventors are:

“The invention claimed is:

“1. A fibrous web comprising: at least one hydrophobically sized fibrous layer of a mixture of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) and a pulp, said pulp having a fibre length greater than a fibre length of said MFC, said fibrous layer including a hydrophobic size and a residue of a foaming surfactant decomposed by heat, removing a hydrophilic moiety from a hydrophobic residue based on an alkyl ketene dimer precursor activated with a base, an alcohol or water, and said fibrous layer having a bulk of 2.5 cm.sup.3/g to 7.0 cm.sup.3/g.

“2. The fibrous web of claim 1, wherein said fibrous layer has a bulk of 3 to 7 cm.sup.3/g.

“3. The fibrous web of claim 2, wherein said fibrous layer has a Scott bond value of 120 to 200 J/m.sup.2.

“4. The fibrous web of claim 3, wherein said fibrous layer comprises starch as a further sizing component.

“5. The fibrous web of claim 2, wherein said fibrous layer comprises starch as a further sizing component.

“6. The fibrous web of claim 1, wherein said pulp is mechanical pulp.

“7. The fibrous web of claim 6, wherein said mechanical pulp is chemithermomechanical pulp (CTMP).

“8. The fibrous web of claim 1, wherein the fibrous components of said fibrous layer consist of about 5 to 40 wt-% of MFC and about 60 to 95 wt-% of said pulp.

“9. The fibrous web of claim 1, wherein the hydrophobic size is alkyl ketene dimer (AKD) or a derivate thereof.

“10. The fibrous web of claim 1, wherein said hydrophobically sized fibrous layer is a coating layer on a second fibrous layer, said coating layer being prepared through the steps of: forming a foam comprising water, said MFC, said pulp, said hydrophobic size, and said forming surfactant being a heat-sensitive surfactant incorporated in the foam, supplying the foam onto a forming fabric, dewatering the foam on the forming fabric by suction to form a web, subjecting the web to drying, and heating the web to suppress the hydrophilic functionality of the surfactant.

“11. The fibrous web of claim 1, wherein said hydrophobically sized fibrous layer is at least one layer of a multilayer board, said hydrophobically sized fibrous layer being prepared through the steps of: forming a foam comprising water, said MFC, said pulp, said hydrophobic size, and said forming surfactant being a heat-sensitive surfactant incorporated in the foam, supplying the foam onto a forming fabric, dewatering the foam on the forming fabric by suction to form a web, subjecting the web to drying, and heating the web to suppress the hydrophilic functionality of the surfactant.

“12. The fibrous web of claim 1, wherein said hydrophobically sized fibrous layer is a middle layer of a multilayer liquid board, said multilayer liquid board having a first outer layer on a first side of said middle layer and a second outer layer on a second said of said middle layer, said first and second outer layers having a bulk lower than a bulk of said middle layer.

“13. The fibrous web of claim 1, wherein said MFC fibre length is about 100 nm to 10 .mu.m, said MFC have a fibre diameter of about 3 nm to 50 nm, and said pulp fibre length is at least 1 mm.

“14. A fibrous web comprising at least one hydrophobically sized fibrous layer of a mixture of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) and a pulp, said pulp having a fibre length greater than a fibre length of said MFC, said fibrous layer including a hydrophobic size and a residue of a foaming surfactant, and said fibrous layer having a bulk of 2.5 cm.sup.3/g to 7.0 cm.sup.3/g, said at least one hydrophobically sized fibrous layer being prepared through the steps of: forming a foam comprising water, said MFC, said pulp, said hydrophobic size, a foam stabilizing protein comprising casein, and said forming surfactant being a heat-sensitive surfactant incorporated in the foam, supplying the foam onto a forming fabric, dewatering the foam on the forming fabric by suction to form a web, subjecting the web to drying, and heating the web to suppress the hydrophilic functionality of the surfactant.

“15. The fibrous web of claim 14 in the form of a continuous web formed on a running forming fabric of a paper or board machine, dewatered by suction through the web and the forming fabric, and dried in a drying section of the paper or board machine.

“16. A fibrous web comprising: at least one hydrophobically sized fibrous layer of a mixture of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) and a pulp, said pulp having a fibre length greater than a fibre length of said MFC, said fibrous layer including a hydrophobic size and a residue of a foaming surfactant comprising a linear ethoxylated C.sub.11-alcohol that has been turned insoluble by heat, and said fibrous layer having a bulk of 2.5 cm.sup.3/g to 7.0 cm.sup.3/g.

“17. The fibrous web of claim 16, wherein said hydrophobically sized fibrous layer is a coating layer on a second fibrous layer, said coating layer being prepared through the steps of: forming a foam comprising water, said MFC, said pulp, said hydrophobic size, and said forming surfactant being a heat-sensitive surfactant incorporated in the foam, supplying the foam onto a forming fabric, dewatering the foam on the forming fabric by suction to form a web, subjecting the web to drying, and heating the web to suppress the hydrophilic functionality of the surfactant.

“18. The fibrous web of claim 16, wherein said hydrophobically sized fibrous layer is at least one layer of a multilayer board, said hydrophobically sized fibrous layer being prepared through the steps of: forming a foam comprising water, said MFC, said pulp, said hydrophobic size, and said forming surfactant being a heat-sensitive surfactant incorporated in the foam, supplying the foam onto a forming fabric, dewatering the foam on the forming fabric by suction to form a web, subjecting the web to drying, and heating the web to suppress the hydrophilic functionality of the surfactant.

“19. The fibrous web of claim 16, wherein said hydrophobically sized fibrous layer is a middle layer of a multilayer liquid board, said multilayer liquid board having a first outer layer on a first side of said middle layer and a second outer layer on a second said of said middle layer, said first and second outer layers having a bulk lower than a bulk of said middle layer.

“20. The fibrous web of claim 16, wherein said MFC fibre length is about 100 nm to 10 .mu.m, said MFC have a fibre diameter of about 3 nm to 50 nm, and said pulp fibre length is at least 1 mm.”

For more information, see this patent: Heiskanen, Isto; Kinnunen, Karita; Hjelt, Tuomo. Hydrophobically Sized Fibrous Web And A Method For The Preparation Of A Sized Web Layer. U.S. Patent Number 10,364,533, filed May 5, 2017, and published online on August 12, 2019. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=10,364,533.PN.&OS=PN/10,364,533RS=PN/10,364,533

(Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world.)

Copyright © 2019 NewsRx LLC, Engineering Business Daily, source Science Newsletters

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