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Södra inaugrates first pilot machine for its bio-composite DuraPulp

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Södra inaugrates first pilot machine for its bio-composite DuraPulp

September 22, 2015 - 01:39
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VAXJO, Sweden, Sept. 22, 2015 (Press Release) -On 22 September, the first pilot machine for manufacturing products from the ground-breaking bio-composite DuraPulp was inaugurated. With DuraPulp, Södra is able to offer a viable alternative to fossil-fuel based products.

DuraPulp is a biodegradable and renewable material that is malleable and mouldable. It can be used for a wide range of applications and sophisticated designs. The material is stable, water resistant and highly durable. DuraPulp has been developed by Södra and will now be produced on a pilot machine so that customers can trial the material for themselves for the first time.

On the threshold of the futureThe inauguration represents a first step towards industrial-scale production of DuraPulp and bespoke products. Both the material and its products are very different to those made from traditional cellulose recipes and require a high level of technical expertise in the manufacturing process and technical support for customers, which Södra will provide. The foundations for a facility that can be used for technical presentations are currently being laid. It will also be made available to new customers to help their product development process.

DuraPulp is a mix of cellulose and a corn-based polymer called polylactic acid (PLA). It is completely new to the market. DuraPulp represents a potential solution to the replacement of fossil-fuel based products offering the chance to create bespoke new solutions rather than off-the-shelf options. DuraPulp is an extremely eco-friendly alternative to plastics with major potential in terms of product design, user-friendliness and durability.

A sustainable futureSödra has been working on the development of sustainable new materials to replace fossil-fuel products for some time. While DuraPulp's basic components are simple, the process of forming the actual material is considerably more complex. Using the right technique, the polymer melts and bonds with the cellulose, while also reinforcing the cellulose fibres.

Demo products produced with DuraPulp to date include the award-winning Parupu children's chair, exclusive packaging and industrial components.

Facts: The project is a collaboration with the Innventia Cluster Research Programme, as well as Södra's partners SWT and James Cropper PLC.

DuraPulp has two basic components: virgin softwood fibre (long fibre) and a polymer based on corn starch, polylactic acid (PLA).