Södra Cell's new bio-composite DuraPulp wins PPI's Innovative Product of the Year award; product has properties of paper but also copes with large changes in weight, humidity

UPPLANDS VASBY, Sweden , November 22, 2011 (press release) – The potential of Södra Cell’s new bio-composite, DuraPulp, was acknowledged at the PPI Awards ceremony in Brussels last week when it scooped first place in the Innovative Product of the Year category. The PPI Awards are the only global awards dedicated to recognizing the achievements of companies, mills and individuals in the pulp and paper sector.

DuraPulp offers a host of exciting potential applications hitherto unexplored by pulp companies. A mix of wood pulp and a bio-degradable polymer, DuraPulp takes on special properties when heated, such as humidity resistance, tensile strength and rigidity. The result is a material with all the properties of ordinary paper but with a key difference - it can cope with large changes in weight and humidity. Like paper, it is fully biodegradable and recyclable but because of the unique properties imparted by hot pressing, it becomes extremely versatile, lightweight , durable and with a great wet strength, making it suitable for a wide range of applications.

In its unactivated state (before hot pressing), DuraPulp has excellent properties for those requiring high folding resistance, high tear strength and high dimensional stability. As well as being moulded after hot pressing, in its raw form, it can be run through a normal paper machine, opening up many applications for speciality papers, design and board.

So far, two products have been made from Durapulp, a children’s chair and a lamp. Both were launched at the Milan Furniture Fair to great acclaim (the chair in 2009 and the lamp in 2010) and both are winners of multiple awards. The latest, for the lamp, is Best in Show at ICFF 2011 (the International Contemporary Furniture Fair).

DuraPulp is the result of several years of collaboration between Södra and the Swedish research firm Innventia, as well as cooperation on the chair and lamp with one of Sweden’s leading design companies, Claesson Koivisto Rune.

Commenting on the award, Henrik Wettergren, Business Area Manager for Printing Paper and Specialties, said: “We are delighted. One principal mission for Södra, together with innovative partners, is to develop and supply tomorrow’s raw materials based on renewable forest resources. DuraPulp has got us off to an excellent start.”

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