In paper mills, the letters “R”, as well as “D”, go around frequently. However, They do not represent the usual R&D department. Retention and drainage chemicals are used to optimize fiber retention and water drainage. Papermakers definitely conduct research for development. But, the letters are used to describe two other important terms called “Retention” and “Drainage”. These words describe a lot about the operation quality, performance, and profitability of running papermaking machines.

Retention and drainage chemicals are used in the process of optimizing fiber retention as well as water drainage. This is an essential role to make the manufacturing of paper cost-effective. The increased retention of fillers, fine particles, sizing agents and additives and other valuable benefits become possible during the formation process. This is all due to retention and drainage aids offered to specific kinds of papermaking such as alkaline paper creation process. There is no need to use retention of drained compounds in case of acidic paper creation. In acidic paper creation, alum supports as a retention aid.

However, modern technologies of papermaking involve an alkaline process. Along with that, modern paper mills run on high-speed machines, which have increased the utilization of more recycled fibers. Hence, the process of creation requires retention as well as Drainage and Formation Chemicals. These chemicals reduce the challenges of keeping up the performance of paper machines and provide aid for fibers. This helps to manage the economic aspect of papermaking. This is why the demand for these chemicals has increased in order to improve functionality and reduce the cost of making paper.

Issues that arise due to low retention and drainage

In the essence of papermaking, you will find out that it is nothing but a process of filtration. The wire cloth of a paper machine works as a filter that works continuously. On that continuous filter, the stock of material is introduced along with water. The machine retains some of the solids, while draining some of the fine particles through the mesh of wire cloth. This also results in the formation of white water.

Most of the constituents of the collected white water are introduced back to the retained stock. Hence, the concentration of fillers and fines keeps on increasing gradually.

In the process of papermaking, the absence of proper retention and drainage can cause the following issues:

  • Increased drainage of fillers and fiber particles
  • Higher cost of sizing and additives
  • Decreased operational efficiency
  • Increased deposits
  • More time required for cleaning
  • Bad formation of paper sheets
  • Quick wet-press felt filling
  • Higher loss of material to sewers

Functionality of retention and drainage aids

For the finest retention of colloids and fine particles during a paper creation process, the zeta potential should be close to zero, aided by retention chemicals.

The main operations conducted by retention and drainage aid include the following:

  • Accelerating drainage to provide improved speed to the machine.
  • Improving the retention rate of fillers and fines.
  • Reducing the use of sizing and wet-end additives.
  • Enhancing surface contact to reduce the use of steam in the process.
  • Reducing the amount of deposits.
  • Reducing the risks of sheet breaks.
  • Improving the operational performance of the paper machine.
  • Enhancing the formation of high-quality paper sheets.
  • Increasing the brightness of the paper sheet surface.
  • Cleaner system of white water.
  • Reducing the downtime related to cleaning everything.

With all the mentioned functionalities, retention and drainage aids provide better productivity to the paper creation process.

Importance of using the right chemicals and techniques

Just like any other process, retention and drainage are also delicate in terms of the use of chemicals as aids and the techniques. An overdose of retention and drainage components can increase the number of flocking sheets. Along with that, it can increase the risks of breaking in the paper web.

hen wrong chemicals are used for the process, the operational performance of paper machines goes down and the papers come out with multiple quality issues. Hence, you should apply the right quantity of high-quality Micropolymer Retention and drainage aids. Now, you know all about the use of retention and drainage in papermaking.

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