Plasterboard Gains Strength through refining at Bègles Paper Mill

Last update 2018/12/14

Begles refiners and WeryMechanical strength has taken a leap forward with AFT Finebar MiniSegments, bringing new life to old refiners. The result produces stronger, smoother paper for EBP's branded gypsum board.

France, 2018 - Papeterie de Bègles produces paper for plasterboard made from 100% recycled furnish. Very old double disc refiners, operating in duo and monoflow modes, were an obstacle to achieving key strength properties in their final product. "Poor fiber fibrillation and too much cutting prevented us from fully reaching our objectives” says Sébastien Wery, Quality & Process Manager at EBP International. “We decided to bring in AFT for expertise, knowing that their Finebar plates might help us improve mechanical properties, especially strength. In fact, a sequence of trials of Finebar MiniSegment patterns exceeded expectations.”

According to Wery, “The singular dramatic difference to optimize our end products was Finebar. AFT helped us discover a specific design of MiniSegments that delivers much needed mechanical properties. These lightweight plates also last longer and are easy for operators to change, giving advantages for maintenance and safety.”

With a custom designed AFT Finebar pattern, Bègles has reduced unwanted short fibers, increased fiber fibrillation, and improved end properties of EBP’s plasterboard products. This has led to better process stability as fewer adjustments are performed to keep the mechanical strength above the minimum value in terms of paper specifications. Now, their 180 gsm ivory grade meets higher quality requirements, especially tear and tensile strength. Grey and color grades are more consistent, produced with greater stability and efficiency. Energy savings have also been recorded because fewer refiners run at any given time to produce the same or greater output.

 “AFT Finebar advances are largely about technical expertise and open thinking. They looked at our processes. They thought about how to improve our refining--all the way to our plasterboard making. Other creative ideas, based on scientific evidence, continue to push our team further,” concludes Wery.

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