What is Moulded Pulp?
Moulded pulp is made from old newsprint or cut-off kraft papers, typically used for protective packaging or for food service trays and beverage carriers. With water proofing, moulded pulps can also be made into single-use toileting containers and kidney trays for healthcare applications. Single-use containers help reduce cross infections among patients in hospitals, nursing homes and elder care centres.
Moulded pulps are sustainable and eco-friendly to the environment, using old newsprint or cut-off kraft papers as raw materials, which can be further recycled back as raw materials or biodegraded after its useful life-cycles.
How is Moulded Pulp Made?
The manufacturing process involves three major steps namely; mixing, forming and drying, with option for pressing depending on moulded pulp applications. Traditional manual production has been overtaken by automation which is capable of producing complex mould pulps with higher yield and volume, catering to numerous applications.
Raw materials are from recycled old newsprints, kraft papers, used cardboards, left-over bamboo bagasse, wheat, etc. Water is mixed with the raw materials and compressed into a mould to form the desired shape. Water retention agent can be added to enhance water proofing property in the products. Types of materials used will affect the moulded pulp’s strength, colour and texture.
In the following segment, it explains how moulded pulps are made.
Firstly, the raw materials should be dry, does not have foul smell and well sorted such that it does not contain any unwanted materials like plastic bags, tapes, strings, etc to ensure high quality raw materials.
The raw materials are further filtered and send to the pulping machines to cut into smaller pieces and mixed thoroughly with water to form into sludge.
Once it is thoroughly mixed, the sludge is channelled to a reservoir to be used by the forming machines. A positive mould is then submerged into the sludge to form a layer over it, while the negative mould presses against with the layered positive mould to form the required shape. The excess water from the compressed pulp is returned to the system, no waste water will be discharge to the public drainage system during the entire production process.
The wet moulded pulp is transferred to the dryer at high temperature to dry and harden the moulded pulp. Depending on the applications of moulded pulps, the dried moulded pulps will be sent for hot pressing to smoothen the surfaces.
Next, the dry moulded pulps will undergo quality inspections. Any defective pulps will be recycled as raw materials and transferred to the pulping machine. All moulded pulps that passed quality inspections will be bagged and packed into carton boxes with date stamp and unique lot number, ready for delivery.
Moulded pulps are one of the commonly used and convenient items that we encounter in our daily lives in order to ensure that our items will not be damaged such as eggs, wine, gadgets, and tools.
Besides industrial packaging and food containers, moulded pulp has expanded its usage in the agriculture and healthcare industries. In agriculture and farming, moulded pulps are made into seedling containers and feeding trays. In healthcare, moulded pulps are made into toileting containers and kidney trays for patients.
Moulded pulps are hygienic, sustainable and eco-friendly which protects not just what it contains but also protects our nature!
Here at Apex Pulp, we are recycling waste, to make moulded pulp.