Covid-19 changed the way paper is consumed and the amount of paper needed. With higher demands come more maintenance challenges that require solutions. Belzona provides solutions for various problems the paper and paper recycling industry faces.

Over the years, environmental conscientiousness and technology have decreased the need for certain types of paper, such as notebook paper and printing paper, among others. In 2020, the rampant spread of COVID-19 shut down the world. People and industries relied more on technology than ever before. However, paper and its respective field were unharmed by the shutdown, environmental concerns, or digitization. Nevertheless, the paper industry still has a lifeline in other paper-based products. 

During this time, people had to function from home. The time spent at home, in conjunction with digitization, allowed people to order online, shifting the landscape of the retail and food industries.

Now, everything needed to be on the go or delivered. If they were open, restaurants packaged food in paper-based meal containers and bags. Online retailers used corrugated packaging materials like cardboard and packaging paper to distribute items.

How To Make Paper

The paper-making process must start somewhere to meet the demand. First, wood from trees is collected. After, the wood goes through processing which entails debarking and chipping to create a slurry of water and woodchips called the pulp. The pulp becomes paper after cleaning, bleaching, pressing, and drying. Then, cut and, if necessary, run through the printing press for designs.

With growing environmental concern and the ability to easily recycle paper, paper mills and recycling centers have been reusing paper to produce new paper material, reducing the need for a large amount of limited raw materials. The recycled paper is shredded and goes through a process called hydrapulping, which is when the shredded paper is blended with water to create a slurry. Foreign objects are screened from the slurry to remove foreign objects and deinked to revert the mix to a pulp. After this recycling process, the pulp can go back to being pressed and dried for a new batch of paper.

It is better to use recycled paper than virgin paper for producing new batches because it is more malleable: which is especially useful when making boxboard or paperboard cartons. These products need to be perforated, folded, cut, and fluted, which all require specialized machines. 

Single facer, triple stack, double glue unit, and slitter scorer are specialized machines used at a paper mill, but they also use standard equipment such as conveyor belts, heated rolls, and water pipes. These machine parts can experience abrasion, corrosion, physical and chemical attack, and vibration.

Even Metal Gets Papercuts

Belzona offers a series of products to prevent or repair these problems. For example, the water and moisture in wood and pulp can lead to machinery becoming corroded and susceptible to chemical attack. In addition, machinery that uses water and chemicals at moderate and high temperatures like the heat rollers, hydrapulper, and deinking machinery can also become corroded.

Belzona 1111 (Super Metal) is used to restore the profile of damaged machinery and protect it from harsh chemicals and oxidation. Belzona 1111 (Super Metal) is a versatile product used for many purposes. The chemical-resistant properties of the coating can protect machinery from the effects of moisture and aggressive chemicals found in this industry. Other linings can offer additional protection against erosive or abrasive mechanisms, such as Belzona 1812 (Ceramic Carbide)

Image displays a large cylinder, Industrial blender used in the paper industry after being resurfaced with Belzona 1111 & Belzona 1812
Industrial blender after being resurfaced with Belzona 1111 & Belzona 1812

At a paper mill in Spain, the outlet pipe of an industrial blender and the bolt threads experienced erosion caused by the abrasive stream of shredded paper pulp flowing through it. Belzona 1111 (Super Metal) was used to rebuild the bolt threads as this product was suitable for reforming and providing a chemical- and abrasion-resistant reformed bolt.

Belzona 1812 (Ceramic Carbide) was used to coat the pipelining to resist the damaging effects of the abrasive paper pulp. They used to replace the piece of equipment every one to two years, but after witnessing the longevity of Belzona products, they changed their practices.

It’s Not Just Sandpaper

In France, paper clips and staples from the cleaning process severely damaged a recycling facility’s paper pulp pump. The pump either needed to be replaced or resurfaced, but the facility said, “it was better to repair the equipment with Belzona products than to replace it.”

The pumps and screens were abraded, which Belzona 1812 (Ceramic Carbide) can repair. The product is a two-component protective coating with good adhesion also, easily applied to metallic surfaces. It withstands the abrasive forces of many coarse materials such as rocks and coal, also suitable for wood.

They realized that the repaired and coated pumps usually last three times longer than the new ones. For this, they fixed the damaged areas caused by abrasion with Belzona 1311 (Ceramic R-Metal). Then, Belzona 1812 (Ceramic Carbide) was applied to the inside of the pump casing to protect against erosion when returned to service.

Paper pulp pump after being repaired with Belzona 1311 & Belzona 1812
Paper pulp pump after being repaired with Belzona 1311 & Belzona 1812

A Heavy Paperweight  

In 2008, at a French paper mill, a pulper attached to concrete blocks was no longer secured. The feet of the pulper and the concrete underneath was damaged. Also, the bolts keeping the feet in place on the concrete blocks corroded.

Belzona 1111 (Super Metal) was used to anchor the pulper by cold bonding threaded rods. Belzona 4911 was used to condition the substrate before applying Belzona 4111 (Magma-Quartz). Formers allowed the product to take on the desired shape of the repair. Finally, the formers were detached to reveal the completed shim once the product hardened. The whole process took 48 hours which helped shave off excessive downtime.

The engines and inner mechanisms of the equipment can cause vibration, which can, in turn, wear down the concrete surface or base. To shim or rebuild the surface the equipment is on, Belzona 4111 (Magma-Quartz) is a solid option. It is a multipurpose repair composite for resurfacing designed to offer excellent chemical, abrasion, and impact resistance for heavy machinery experiencing vibration and in the presence of corrosive fluids.

The feet of a pulper used in the paper industry after being repaired with Belzona 4111
The feet of a pulper after being repaired with Belzona 4111

Corrosion Ruins Composition

In 2019, at a Polish paper mill, a condensate tank was experiencing corrosion due to the moisture of the paper pulp. These tanks are located outside, exposed to heat, and operate with steam and water. These variables can contribute to the corrosion of the tanks impairing their fitness for service.

The area was grit blasted for profiling and cleansing to begin the repair. Then, Belzona 9121 was used to degrease the area. Finally, Belzona 5892 was applied in two coats to protect the condensate tank from further corrosion.  

Belzona 5892 is a suitable coating system for tanks and vessels handling aqueous solutions at elevated temperatures until 95°C (203°F). Its properties make it an excellent solution for assets operating under immersion and subjected to chemical attacks from aqueous solutions.  

Condensate tank used in the paper industry after being coated with Belzona 5892 for corrosion protection
Condensate tank after being coated with Belzona 5892 for corrosion protection

Paper-thin Metal 

On some occasions, the screening process will find foreign objects during the pulping process. A turbo separator at a paper recycling plant in Texas, United States, was impacted by a large metal foreign object, causing severe damage to the original ceramic-tile lining. It was a dire situation for the plant because they operate almost full time and only stop production for twelve hours once a month to perform routine maintenance.

For the recycling plant, replacing the tiles is a time-consuming operation, and they did not have the time available to make their typical repairs. They needed a repair to be completed in less than twelve hours from shut down to start up to operate the equipment. The customer had confidence in the Belzona 1800 series, as seven years before that, they had used Belzona 1812 (Ceramic Carbide) to grout and make minor repairs to the same equipment.

These repairs were still in excellent condition. This time around, the plant decided to use Belzona 1818, one of Belzona’s newest solutions for abrasion, to repair the damaged area.  

Belzona 1818 is a fast-curing abrasion-resistant repair system ideal for surfaces subjected to high erosion and abrasion. The product is ready for mechanical loading two hours after application and can be applied to steel even if contaminated with oil and water. In addition, it can be implemented and cured while submerged.

An example of a turbo separator used in the paper industry
A turbo separator as used in a paper mill

The paper recycling plant removed any surrounding damaged materials. Then, the substrate was grit blasted to create a suitable profile. Afterward, Belzona 1818 was used to patch the area and provide abrasion protection. The application finished in less than seven hours, and the equipment restarted with no delays. 

Just as paper mills reuse paper, Belzona can help paper mills reuse their current equipment and machinery by repairing, protecting, and improving them with our products.  

Interested in purchasing Belzona’s repair composites and protective coatings?


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Alexander Ruiz

Jr. Copywriter, Belzona Inc., Miami, Florida

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Hasna

    Impressive!

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