About TAPPI Journal

An internationally recognized technical publication for over 60 years, TAPPI Journal (TJ) publishes the latest and most relevant research on the forest products and related industries in digital format. A stringent peer-review process and distinguished editorial board of academic and industry experts set TAPPI Journal apart as a reliable source for impactful basic and applied research and technical reviews. TAPPI Journal is now Open Access. Read more.

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Guest Editorial: Coating research addresses new product demands in response to global pandemic, TAPPI Journal November 2020

November 01, 2020

ABSTRACT: For all of us, the year 2020 has been one of significant challenge. Our communities, companies, institutions, organizations, and families have had to make many tough decisions and change our way of life as a result of the global pandemic.

Pigmented aqueous barrier coatings, TAPPI Journal November 2020

November 01, 2020

ABSTRACT: The desire for more sustainable packaging has led to the development of new packaging materials that are fiber based. Aqueous coatings are a pathway to improve the recyclability of these materials. Pigments used in these coatings can improve the performance of the coating and reduce cost while further improving the recyclability. Mineral pigments are also considered to be compost neutral. In this paper, we provide the reader a better fundamental understanding of the mechanisms by which pigments work in barrier coatings. A pigment’s mineralogy and physical characteristics are important to how it will perform, and there have been recent pigment developments that improve coating performance. This paper shows that some pigments are better than others in particular barrier applications. Also, pigmented base or pre-coats can be used to prepare the surface for more highly functional coatings that go on top, improving the barrier function of packaging material and reducing overall cost. Finally, the converting operation is of major importance in driving formulation choices for barrier applications.

Multifunctional barrier coating systems created by multilayer curtain coating, TAPPI Journal November 2020

November 01, 2020

ABSTRACT: Functional coatings are applied to paper and paperboard substrates to provide resistance, or a barrier, against media such as oil and grease (OGR), water, water vapor as measured by moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR), and oxygen, for applications such as food packaging, food service, and other non-food packaging. Typical functional barrier coatings can be created by applying a solid coating or extruded film, a solvent based-coating, or a water-based coating to the paper substrate using various means of coating applicators.This paper focuses on water-based barrier coatings (WBBC) for OGR, water, MVTR, and oxygen barriers. The main goal was to create coated systems that can achieve more than one barrier property using multilayer curtain coating (MLCC). Curtain coating has emerged as the premier low-impact application me thod for coated paper and paperboard. This paper provides examples using MLCC to create coating structures that provide multiple barrier properties in a single coating step. Barrier polymer systems studied include styrene butadiene, styrene acrylate, vinyl acrylic, and natural materials, as well as proprietary additives where required to give desired performance. The paper also shows how the specific coating layers can be optimized to produce the desired property profile, without concern for blocking, as the addition of a non-blocking top layer can be applied in the MLCC structure as well. Experiments on base sheet types also shows the importance of applying the multilayer structure on a pre-coated surface in order to improve coating thickness consistency and potentially allow for the reduction of more expensive layer components.

Numerical analysis of slot die coating of nanocellulosic materials, TAPPI Journal November 2020

November 01, 2020

ABSTRACT: Nanocellulosic coatings as a food packaging material are of commercial interest due to their nontoxic nature, renewability, and excellent barrier properties. Complex shear-thinning rheology poses challenges in designing and sizing equipment to pump, mix, and process the suspension and actual coating process. This study aims to determine the effectiveness of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in predicting nanocellulosic suspension flow in light of existing rheological data. We employ and compare three distinct rheological models to characterize the rheology and flow of nanocellulose suspensions through a slot die coater, where the model parame-ters are established from existing slot rheometry measurements. A volume-of-fluid (VoF) based finite volume meth-od is employed to simulate the flow in a slot die operated in an unconventional metering mode. Results with the Casson model predict the presence of unyielded regions in the flow, which was not captured using the power law model. These stagnation regions will incur coatability issues stemming from flow intermittencies and lead to poten-tial defects in the coating layer, including fracture. The results suggest that a rheological model that includes yield stress should be considered while modeling such flows. A need for better rheological data to model nanocellulosic flows, especially at high consistencies and shear rates, is also highlighted.

The use of hollow sphere pigments as strength additives in paper and paperboard coatings—Part 1: The predictive nature of packing models on coating properties, TAPPI Journal November 2020

November 01, 2020

ABSTRACT: Hollow sphere pigments (HSPs) are widely used at low levels in coated paper to increase coating bulk and to provide gloss to the final sheet. However, HSPs also provide an ideal system through which one can examine the effect of pigment size and particle packing within a coating due to their unimodal and tunable particle sizes. The work presented in Part 1 and Part 2 of this study will discuss the use of blends of traditional inorganic pigments and HSPs in coating formulations across a variety of applications for improved coating strength. Part 1 of this study focuses on the theory of bimodal spherical packing and demonstrates the predictive nature of packing models on the properties of coating systems containing HSPs of two different sizes. This study also examines conditions where the model fails by examining the effect of particle size on coating strength in sytems like thermal paper basecoats where the non-HSP component has a broad particle size distribution, and how these surprising trends can be used to generate better-than-expected thermal printing performance in systems with low HSP/clay ratios. Part 2 of this study focuses on the incorporation of HSPs of different particle sizes into paperboard formulations to affect coating strength and opacity.

The use of hollow sphere pigments as strength additives in paper and paperboard coatings—Part 2: Optimization in paperboard formulations for opacity and strength, TAPPI Journal November 2020

November 01, 2020

ABSTRACT: This report aims to summarize the efforts in testing the properties of coatings for paperboard utilizing hollow sphere pigments (HSPs). HSPs are known to effectively scatter light and replace titanium dioxide (TiO2) in architectural coating formulations. The effect of the particle size and void fraction was evaluated, along with many coating parameters, including level of addition, binder chemistry, and blends of two HSPs. The small HSPs that have optimized voids for scattering light showed equivalent strength to the TiO2-containing control. The strength data was surprising, particularly the improvement in strength for coatings containing large particle size HSPs. Because of this increase in strength, four parts of binder could be removed, which allowed for higher brightness while not compromising other properties, including hot melt glueability. These trends held true using different binder chemistries (styrene acrylic, vinyl acrylic, and styrene butadiene). Upon refining the formulations further, blends of two HSPs showed further benefit.