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6th annual Internal and Surface Sizing conference


April 1, 2006
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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For two and a half days in March, delegates convened in Montreal to avail themselves of information presented on the latest developments in internal and surface sizing. The event, organized by Interte…

For two and a half days in March, delegates convened in Montreal to avail themselves of information presented on the latest developments in internal and surface sizing. The event, organized by Intertech and Pira, featured a half-day workshop on sizing for barrier requirements, two full days of paper presentations, and concluded with a mill tour to Domtar’s Windsor facility.

The conference attracted roughly 50 attendees, who came from all aspects of the industry, from Neenah Paper to GL&V, from Abitibi-Consolidated to the University of Toronto.

Presenters also represented diverse aspects of the industry. Pira International, UK, Meadwestvaco, the Stora Enso Research Centre in Imatra Finland, Sellukem in Sweden, the Institute of Paper Science and Technology in Atlanta, the Earth Science Centre at the University of Toronto in conjunction with the Faculty of Forestry and the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, Crown van Gelder and Paprican, all presented research and findings. BTG and General Chemical exhibited at the conference and representatives from both companies were on hand to respond to delegates’ questions.

“This might seem to be a rather mundane topic,” said Nigel Jopson, chief consultant and technical manager paper and board for Pira International, UK. “But the first appearance of nanotechnology was with sizing,” he confirmed. Jopson delineated the significance of the topic, and highlighted the misconception that sizing is restricted solely to water repellence issues. He articulated the need to integrate sizing with other aspects of process control, as it is, “the subtle things in the mill that determine the success of sizing applications. We always have to be careful of things we haven’t thought of that may have a deleterious effect.”

Jopson also identified some of the most salient market trends that are exerting an impact on sizing applications, such as a reduced use of paper as a transactional and archiving medium. He also acknowledged that the emergence of new markets and market movements, such as the increase in product complexity and value-added products, as well as light weighting in barrier grades, open up a new host of applications for sizing.

Some of the papers presented addressed topics such as the impact of biocides on internal and surface sizing, sizing of paper for packaging and printing, and advances in ASA technology. All of the presentations elicited heavy audience participation and substantial time was devoted to the fielding of questions. It seemed that Jopson’s initial concern that the topic might be perceived as ‘mundane’ was entirely unfounded.