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5 ways to drive value from improved dry strength in paper and board

Dry strength additives can do much more for you than help achieve the desired strength properties for paper and board. Our experts list 5 ways to turn an effective strength program into significant benefits for your production.

Choosing and implementing the right strength program is not only about overcoming the challenges that paper and board producers face when trying to meet the strength targets in their products. Managing and optimizing strength with the right chemical solution provides also an opportunity to expand the operational window, optimize costs, and turn the enhanced strength into improved profitability.

Our experts Harold Goldsberry, Sr. Manager, Strength and Tissue Applications, and Mikko Virtanen, Sr. Specialist, Wet End and Surface Solutions, list 5 ways to drive value from improved strength in paper and board, helping you to achieve a net positive return on investment made in strength chemistry. If you want to learn more about a holistic approach to improving strength, be sure to catch their insights from our on-demand webinar.

1. Adjust the fiber mix

Strength in paper and board is a combination of fiber quality, fiber treatment, chemical solutions, used technologies, and machine parameters. Effective dry strength additives have a key role in the equation as they make it possible to adjust the other parameters and help reduce the need for expensive, high-quality fibers. Additional dry strength enables flexibility to adjust the fiber mix based on e.g. fiber price and availability without jeopardizing your strength targets, for example by making it possible the use lower cost fiber or higher filler content. Strength program can also help you overcome the variations in fiber quality that can otherwise turn part of your production off-spec.

2. Produce high performance grades

The demand for high performance packaging grades is increasing. Successful dry strength application can help you reach high performance strength specifications in your production cost-efficiently. You can upgrade the quality of your product to better compete in the current market or develop new grades to enter to new ones, allowing for the opportunity to increase your profit.

3. Increase machine speed

Surface starch is the common solution for creating strength in paper and board. It is a fairly cost-efficient option and typically high quantities of starch can be used to ensure the desired strength targets. However, when the needed strength properties are achieved with e.g. a high dosages of size press starch, it can considerably limit production speed. Some strength solutions help improve drainage and overall, the need for post drying reduces when less starch is used in the production. Increasing machine speed with the help of an optimized strength solution creates value through improved production.

4. Reduce basis weight and avoid overweighting

The thicker the board, the better the strength properties. It is a common practice for many paper and paperboard producers to overweight the basis weight in their products to reach and ensure the needed strength specifications. This is a simple, but expensive approach. An effective dry strength additive offers a more economical solution to the challenge: it helps you maintain strength properties with same or even reduced basis weight.

Maintaining and improving strength while using less fibers is becoming more critical as the demand for lighter weight packaging is increasing in the sustainability-focused packaging value chain. Lower weight translates into lower emissions on transportation and means less raw materials and resources used in the production.

5. Gain savings in chemicals

Introducing a new dry strength technology at your mill can also help you gain savings in chemicals. In addition to giving strength to paper and board, strength additives provide flexibility to optimize the overall chemical usage at the paper and board machine. You can create savings from the lower spend on size press, spray, and wet end starch in your production or through the reduced consumption of other chemicals used in the papermaking system, such as retention aids.

Learn more about the benefits of modern strength technologies and watch our on-demand webinar where our experts share case examples to introduce Kemira’s solutions to improve dry strength in paper and board.

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