Several pilot trials have been completed for all four different application areas; membranes, protective textiles, friction pads and abrasive materials. Technical improvements in the existing open access pilot line SutCo at VTT were finalised and tested for these applications. Both VTT´s pilot lines, the upgraded surface treatment pilot SutCo and printing pilot Roko are available as open access services. Our partners can continue the trials focusing on product development or new customers exploit the results in other industrial areas.
We will replace the planned NanoTextSurf workshops with webinars in autumn. Stay
tuned to get more information about these events and how to register to the
webinars on our web pages.
Our first NanoTextSurf video presents what kind of novel products can include nanocellulose and how these nanomaterials are applied to their surfaces. Cellulose nanofibrils and nanocrystals have unique properties. They are very strong and their large surface area is beneficial when used in coating or printing. These properties have been demonstrated for textiles, paper and plastics.
Due to the recent developments (restrictions in place in Austria, international events being cancelled/rescheduled, e.g. ACS in USA) we will also cancel the planned participation in the exhibition of Specialty Paper2020 Europe and postpone the first NanoTextSurf workshop to take place later this year. We come back to the details later, stay tuned.
NanoTextSurf Newsletter 2 published
NanoTextSurf is progressing very well for all the planned tasks and end applications. Modifications to the pilot facilities have been completed and several pilot trials have been carried out. NanoTextSurf now moves on to the demonstration phase. The aim is to present several demonstrators in workshops next year. The demonstrators will be produced either with the pilot facilities at VTT or with the project partners’ industrial production lines to produce novel textile or abrasive material demonstrators.
Our first public NanoTextSurf workshop will be on Thursday 23rd of April 2020 in Central Europe. The second public workshop and visit to VTT´s open access pilot plant will take place second week in June 2020 in Espoo, Finland.
Stay tuned to get more information about the events. Information about how
to register to the events will be on our web pages.
Good progress in the project in all end applications - moving to demonstration phase
Several pilot trials have been run for all applications and good progress made in four different application areas; membranes, protective textiles,
friction pads and abrasive materials. Technical improvements in the existing open access pilot line at VTT were finalised
and tested for different applications. Mirka hosted the meetings in their guesthouse in Keppo, Finland. Detailed results about all formulations for coatings
and printings were presented and next steps in piloting the demonstration were planned. The weather was sunny but cool as usual in Finland in September.
Project group in front of Keppo Maison and our meeting place on the countryside.
Successful screen printing pilot trials for textiles
Pilot-scale roll-to-roll printing trials were carried out with a rotary screen printing unit in VTT’s modular ROKO printing machine.
About 100 m of printed fabrics was produced with different amounts of nanocellulose. The trial verified that same fabric properties
were achieved in pilot scale than in lab scale. The evaluation of the endproduct performance is on-going and further tests are needed
before moving to industrial scale at Tekstina.
Photos; VTT’s, Tekstina’s and University of Maribor’s researches at
work: manual feeding of the printing dispersion to the screen printing head,
printed fabric after drying and overview of VTT’s ROKO pilot.
Testing of the vacuum box in Sutco pilot for friction materials
A vacuum box was added to the SutCo-pilot in order to enhance penetration of
dispersion into porous material. First test runs were carried out with
different slot openings and vacuum levels by using a porous textile cloth.
The target was to enhance the penetration of the dispersion and improve the
anchoring and adhesion of the material to the cloth.
Photos: SutCo pilot line (left) and the cloth after the vacuum in drying
Pilot trials for abrasive materials in progress
The overall goal of this demonstration is to develop a new bio based
binder concept for abrasive surface conditioning products. After extensive
pre-work in the laboratory barrier coatings are moving into pilot scale. A
part of the abrasive materials is based on paper where special barrier
coating layer is needed for ideal abrasive performance. Customer benefits of
the novel abrasive materials based on new improved surface finishing
concepts are formaldehyde free product technology, improved environmental
footprint, reduction in release of micro plastics and improved
recyclability. As pre-pilot trials before final demonstrations, short runs
with water-based dispersions were run at VTT´s SutCo pilot. These barrier
samples were used as substrates for next phase coatings to manufacture the
active abrasive layers and their final product performance is analysed with
sanding tests in Mirka´s own laboratories.
VTT´s and Mirka`s researchers at work: Manual dispersion feeding (left),
drying (middle) and marking and winding of the dried coated layer (right).
Surface treatment trials with membranes
Coating targeting to surface treat industrial membranes with different nanocellulose formulations were run successfully at VTT´s surface treatment pilot. In these pre-trials dispersions were fed manually to the applicator. The target was to achive nanotextured surface with an uniform thin layer covering the membranes without loosing permeance properties. Several coating amounts and formulations were trialled in order to find the right operating window and to test the new application units developed in the NanotextSurf project. More trials will be run to optimise and make the final demonstrators. The final target is to surface treat membranes with a continuous feed in order to produce as a demonstrator large amounts of membranes with uniform and stable coating layer for end product testing.
Feeding nanocellulose formulation manually (left), starting and adjusting
drying units (middle) and a group photo of VTTers operating the pilot line
and partners from Stockholm University as internal customers in the
Master thesis on online measurements for nanocellulose coatings
Abundant research efforts are being made towards enabling high-throughput processing of nanocellulosic materials into end-use products. Examples of such products are nanocellulose thin-film structures, such as standalone films and coatings for applications in printed electronics, food packaging and biomedicine. Improved consumer perception, increased demand and development in processing technologies are expected to drive industrial manufacturing. Similar to any industrial process, quality control systems are required. The target was to study online measurement techniques, which could be utilized in industrial process control of nanocellulose-based films and coatings.
The work dealt with non-contact measurement of thickness of nanocellulose coatings applied on polypropylene film, polyether sulfone membrane and stainless steel belt. Three non-contact methods, namely NIR spectroscopy, IR thermography, and optical confocal displacement sensing (OCDS) were used to measure the thickness of nanocellulose coatings. OCDS was found to be the most accurate technique for measuring the thickness of MFC films with an RMS error of 9.3% for wet films and 29.1% for dry films. For CNF films, IR thermography produced the best results with an RMS error of 26.1% and 13.2% for wet and dry films respectively.
You can download the full work by clicking
Project and review meetings in Stockholm
The scientific results, technical developments and other activities were reviewed in April in Stockholm. The project is on schedule. Our project group presented the promising results and achievements in all four different application areas; membranes, protective textiles, friction pads and abrasive materials. The work is now moving from laboratory scale studies to pilot scale trials. Technical improvements in the existing open access pilot lines have already been executed and novel application procedures were tested for these surface treatment applications. The project group also learned more about the activities in the department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry of Stockholm University, visited their laboratories and made a guided walking tour in the Old City of Stockholm.
NTS meeting in Austria
NanoTextSurf partners met mid-October in Baden in Austria to discuss the latest results and making plans for next steps. Between the productive discussions, the project group visited Berndorf Band ´s facilities in Berndorf, where high quality steel belts and belt systems are produced. We have already made first successful attempts to scale up selected processes developed in the project. We have modified existing pilot machines at VTT and BBG to better suit for applications of water based dispersions or other coating formulations based on nanocelluloses. These pilots will be used to produce demonstration products based on the scientific developments in the NanoTextSurf-project.
After the meetings, the first internal training workshop and visit to the laboratories of Department Materials Chemistry in University of Vienna took place and several presentations were highlighting challenges and potential solutions to make filtering and coating solutions with biobased materials. More than a dozen of students studying in Vienna and NanoTextSurf project partners were actively asking questions and challenging the speakers. Novel concepts to design bioinspired membranes and filters based on different nanocelluloses in bulk structures or as thin coating layers were presented and discussed.
Kick-off meeting in Brussels
The kick-off meeting of the project took place in Brussels on 21st and 22nd of November, 2017. The requirements of the novel industrial applications were discussed in group sessions and focused targets were chosen. Detailed next steps were further discussed and agreed on in the next WP meetings in Göttingen on 11th -12th of April, 2018