Expertise, Solutions, Reliability and Confidentiality

Innofibre team has a solid expertise in thermoforming of lignocellulosic fibers acquired since 2011. The projects carried out in this field total more than $ 2 million. Applied research in this sector is increasing and specifically directed towards:

  • Development and prototyping of thermoformed pulp packaging,
  • The technological development of the pulp thermoforming process, and
  • The demonstration of the use of little-used lignocellulosic materials such as annual plants and recycled fibres.

Whether these requirements are related to:

  • Quality control
  • Process control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Process optimisation
  • Identification of contaminants
  • Pilot trials of new products

Innofibre ensures fast service, reliable and accurate results and confidentiality of the carried work.

Development of raw materials for thermoformed pulp packaging

Innofibre’s laboratories and pilot plant make it possible to manufacture specific cellulosic pulp according to different processes:

  • Chemical Cooking,
  • Impregnation,
  • Bleaching,
  • Mechanical treatment,
  • Washing, cleaning,
  • Screening,
  • Pulp fractionation and
  • Low consistency refining.

The raw materials used are of various kinds:

  • Softwood/hardwood chips,
  • Bagasse,
  • Industrial hemp,
  • Switch grass,
  • Wheat straws, etc.

Pulp thermoforming is done on equipment of size and industrial design, in one place, with a minimum of investment and risk.

Examples of achievements:

  • Low consistency refining of fibres, pilot scale thermoforming and analysis of its effects on product and process.
  • Manufacturing of pulp from annual plants, pilot scale thermoforming and analysis of its effects on product and process.
  • Fractionation of recycled fibres, pilot scale thermoforming and analysis of its effects on product and process.
  • Chemical modifications of fibres, pilot scale thermoforming and analysis of its effects on product and process.
  • Development of pulp treatment sequences adapted to pulp thermoforming product and process.
  • Valorization of residual forest, agricultural and algal biomass with the thermoforming process.

Development of functional adjuvants for thermoformed pulp packaging

For the development of high-performance thermoformed products, Innofibre’s laboratories and pilot plant enable to:

  • Develop recipes for functional adjuvants and surface treatment formulations,
  • Conduct proof of concept on an industrial process of pulp thermoforming,
  • Manufacture thermoformed prototypes to demonstrate to your customers,
  • Analyze their performance,
  • Complete the technological transfer of results on an industrial scale.

All these steps are carried out in one place, with minimal investment and risk.

Examples of achievements:

  • Pilot thermoforming with water and oil barrier agents and analysis of its effects on product and process.
  • Pilot thermoforming with retention aids and dry strength adjuvants and analysis of its effects on product and process.
  • Pilot thermoforming with mineral pigments and color dyes and analysis of its effects on product and process.
  • Surface treatment with polymers from renewable sources and analysis of its effects on the properties of the product.
  • Surface treatment with bioactive agents and analysis of its effects on the antimicrobial properties of the product.

 Performance analysis of thermoformed pulp packaging

Innofibre’s laboratories are the most complete. They make it possible to analyze properties specific to food service and industrial thermoformed pulp packaging which are developed and manufactured therein, such as :

  • FPI Rigidity (Food Packaging Institute),
  • Oxygen transmission Rate OTR and Water Vapor Transmission Rate WVTR,
  • KIT Test,
  • COBB Test, etc.

The reliability of the results is ensured by highly qualified personnel and by the regular monitoring of our measuring instruments and apparatus. The analyzes are performed according to industry standards: ASTM, EN, ISO, TAPPI, FPI, etc. For a list of available trials, click here.

Examples of achievements:

  • Development and analysis of water barrier and oil barrier properties of thermoformed pulp products.
  • Development and analysis of the properties of stiffness, lightness, precision and smoothness of thermoformed pulp products.
  • Development and analysis of the optical and aesthetic properties of thermoformed pulp products.
  • Development and analysis of the recyclability and biodegradability properties of thermoformed pulp products.
  • Development and analysis of the anti-mold properties of thermoformed pulp products.

Pilot trials of thermoforming of cellulosic fibre packaging

Thanks to its pulp thermoforming system of an industrial size and design, Innofibre conducts pilot trials for the development and prototyping of high-performance 3D thermoformed pulp packaging for end users, thermoformed packaging manufacturers, OEMs, packaging distributors, and adjuvant suppliers in one place with minimal investment and risk.

Examples of achievements:

  • Pilot-scale pulp thermoforming into a single thermoformed product using as low as 30g dry of a pulp suspension.
  • Industrial scale up of pulp thermoforming at a high productive throughput of 45 kg/h of dry thermoformed products.
  • Pilot-scale validation of prototyping tools (moulding, transfer, thermoforming) and its effects on product and process.
  • Comparison between different moulding strategies (type-1 molding, type-2 forming and type-3 thermoforming).
  • Optimization of the operating parameters of pulp moulding, drainage and thermoforming and analysis of its effects.
  • Comparison of thermoforming processes with water recirculation and analysis of its effects on product and process.
  • Optimization of the energy consumption and productivity of the pulp thermoforming process and analysis of its effects.

For more information about thermoformed fibers, contact Tarik Jabrane at 819-376-5011 extension 4549.