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Acoustic pulp refiner improves production efficiencies

Emphasising important special characteristics in pulp fibres is currently restricted to inherent vibration technology that uses either optical or electromagnetic waves. These systems are susceptible to stopping production for various reasons; so a large Italian company devised and patented an alternative system based upon mechanical/acoustical waves (audible sound).
Acoustic pulp refiner improves production efficiencies
The developed technology is a result of wider research, but has found a distinct niche within the paper manufacturing industry for the refining of pulp within mechanical pulping processes. This is because it uses acoustic signals below 20kHz, which provide more accurate results and robust analysis and it emphasises the important special characteristics of pulp fibre.

The technology is a patented analysing device that controls the pulp refining process with an acoustic source. The analysing device itself is comprised of a control unit and an acoustic emitter (the signal source), which emits signals into the pulp. The signals then propagate through the pulp, which are then influenced by the presence of the pulp fibres.

During the pulping process, various other solutions are included, which change the mechanical, chemical and physical properties of the pulp fibre. Also the required paper characteristics affect the concentration, shape and size of the pulp fibres; and this in turn creates many varied soluble concentration mixtures.

Statistical modelling based on multivariate analysis and neural networks can be used for more robust analysis because the device measures frequency, amplitude, phase, time and spatial dependencies. It is controllable because it uses acoustic signals, which enables it to excite different acoustic paths to be used for analysis and avoid averaging and determination.

Whilst the device does not require individual site calibration it minimises unnecessary plant shut down for installation procedures. It is cheaper, non-complicated, economically advantageous and suitable to implement into existing paper refining processes. And, whereas other measuring systems have to extract the soluble mixtures for analyses, this device can measure and analyse the pulp on-line - and in real time.
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