The foam forming platform of VTT is built on years of research, experienced personnel, and the unique laboratory and pilot facilities: develop the competiveness of your current products and processes to a new level, demonstrate the use of advanced bio-based raw materials in your products or with us. Open up new business with foam!
Foam forming enables a step like change in the resource-efficiency for various product sectors including paper, paperboard, tissue, non-woven and even construction and insulation industries. VTT’s foam forming platform enables efficient R&D from laboratory to rapid upscaling to industrial use.
Foam forming is already in industrial use for special non-woven produts. The major machine supplier, Valmet, has already installed foam in its pilot machine utilizing VTT’s expertise and is together with VTT committed to bringing the benefits to an industrial scale. Even today we are looking to get added value for our customers’ products on pilot scale.
Save raw material, energy and water or develop new business with us
VTT is a global pioneer in research into fibre foams. The first pilot-scale research environment in the world, started in 2013, has already shown its value in the development of next generation fibre products. It took only 8 months from the idea to bringing the foam to pilot-scale and less than two years to bring the speed up to 900m/min. The unique competence of fibres, fibre foam rheology, foam and papermaking processes combined with the expertise on the characterization and optimization of product properties gives a concrete competitive edge for our customers to develop their business.
Various pilot-scale trials have already demonstrated that with foam it is possible to:
- Create remarkably uniform fibre webs (excellent formation)
- Save over 20% of drying energy through improved dewatering
- Save even 15–25% of fibres by making lightweight structures without extensive investments
The technology will first be used to make current products more competive and to differentiate them from competitors’ products. In the longer term, the real value will come through agile adaptation to market needs with sustainable products.
Excellence from laboratory to pilot scale
In 2014, the foam forming environment offers piloting of 300mm (~12’’) wide webs with speeds upto 1,000m/min (~3000ft/min) for grammages from 25 to 200 g/m2 (15-120 lb/3000 ft2). Foam can be generated in a tank or on-line, and trials can be run in the Fourdrinier, gap or hybrid geometries to provide reels, which can be dried offline. The piloting is supported by extensive and unique laboratory devices optimized for fibre foams.
The versatily of the technology has already been demonstrated in paper, board, tissue, non-wovens and even some thermal and sound insulation applications. We believe that foam forming will be the next generation manufacturing technology for the sustainable production of various fibre products.
The technological patents on the basic foam technology have expired, and there are no expected costs for companies to utilize the technology. However, we expect that there will be a lot of product patents, and VTT is more than willing to help companies to build their own patent portfolio around this magnificent technology.