Wood cellulose fibers are the raw materials we and our customers use to make a wide range of everyday products. But did you know that these fibers can be modified even further and used to enhance paper properties such as strength, formation, density and barrier/holdout? Domtar’s newest innovation, Stealth Fiber Technology™ fibers, does just that.
“This is a game-changing fiber,” says Mark Bessette, general manager and vice president of Domtar’s Specialty Paper business. “We are using it to enhance our own product offerings as well as working with customers to use these fibers in specialized applications.”
Stealth Fiber Technology Fiber Enhances Paper Products
Stealth Fiber Technology fiber, patented by Domtar, is a new enabling fiber resulting from more than 12 years of research and development. This innovation fundamentally changes the fiber by liberating the fibrils and delivers end-use performance unachievable before now without specialty additives. This includes:
- Strength — Adding Stealth Fiber Technology fiber to paper can improve fiber-to-fiber bonding ability, increasing tensile strength and internal bond strength. This enables converters to run lighter basis weights with the same or better sheet performance and yield. It can reduce delamination and sheet splitting in printing and coating applications. Stealth Fiber Technology fiber’s ability to increase burst strength and tensile energy absorption makes it ideal for packaging, bag and envelope applications.
- Formation — Another key advantage of this patented fiber is the significant improvement in sheet formation that can be achieved due to more conformable fibers with fewer fines. The resulting improvement in sheet formation provides enhanced printability and converting performance.
- Density — Stealth Fiber Technology fiber’s morphological characteristics in the sheet matrix help reduce air permeability. By consolidating the sheet structure and manipulating the pore size, we can reduce porosity and improve holdout.
- Barrier/Holdout — As Stealth Fiber Technology fiber is incorporated, the paper’s barrier or holdout properties improve significantly. This translates to improved solvent holdout and better grease-resistance efficiency with proven functional chemistries.
Stealth Fiber Technology Fiber Creates New Opportunities
Harshad Pande, director of research and development for Domtar communication papers, is one of the inventors of Stealth Fiber Technology fiber. He and his team are continuing to explore other ways to use these fibers to enhance paper and other fibrillated fiber-based products.
“I’ve been working in the field of pulp and paper since 1984 and with fibrillated fibers since the early 2000s. We’ve always believed there was a huge potential in fibrillated fiber technology, but to see it become a reality in the mills — in 2012 with the first commercial paper machine trials and today with growing potential in different applications — is very exciting,” Pande says. “Stealth Fiber Technology fiber is like peeling an onion — the more you work on it, the more layers you discover. We have different teams of people within Domtar who are continuing to develop uses for these fibers, and we still are exploring its full potential. It’s very exciting to see where this might lead.”
Domtar’s Biomaterials group is also exploring other market opportunities enabled by Stealth Fiber Technology fiber. This includes licensing our proven technology to customers in related industries.
“We are exploring uses for these fibers in a broad range of applications where basis weight and strength are important, such as the linerboard and brown board produced by other pulp and paper companies,” says Mark DeAndrea, vice president of Biomaterials for Domtar. “We are looking to license Stealth Fiber Technology fiber to manufacturers in those markets that show a significant demand for lightweighting and strengthening characteristics.”
Stealth Fiber Technology fiber is just another example of how Domtar continues to lead the industry with innovative products and technologies. Learn more about our research and development:
- Lignin Pellets: An Exciting Bioalternative to Plastic
- Making Strides with Lignin: Biomaterials Research Creates New Opportunities
- Booming Wood Pulp Market Breeds New Products
- Working Smart: Shabnam Sanaei’s Biorefinery Development
- Domtar’s Research in Biomaterials Science Leads to New Opportunities
- Domtar R&D Lab Brings Innovative Technologies to Personal Care
- Plymouth K-Lime Turns Waste into Nutrients