International Paper has patented a method for controlling a fiber fractionation system to separate fibers into long and short fractions. By measuring and maintaining fiber length within a target range, the system automatically adjusts rotor speed. This innovation ensures consistent fiber quality in paper production. GlobalData’s report on International Paper gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on International Paper, Fiber-reinforced material joining techniques was a key innovation area identified from patents. International Paper's grant share as of January 2024 was 72%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Method for controlling fiber fractionation system for maintaining fiber length

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: International Paper Co

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11834786B2) discloses a method for controlling a fiber fractionation system to fractionate an input material into a long fraction (LF) stream and a short fraction (SF) stream. The method involves measuring various properties of the furnish, such as LF fiber length, and maintaining these properties within target ranges by automatically adjusting the rotational speed of the rotor in response to the measured values. Additionally, the rotational speed of the rotor can be controlled by a frequency converter, and signals can be transmitted to a bale selector to alter the composition of raw material bales based on the measured LF fiber length or stock levels in LF fiber storage tanks.

Furthermore, the patent describes methods for processing pulp suspensions with turbulence generators, treating pulp suspensions with chemicals to adjust the amount of free fines, and applying water to the interior surface of a fractionation screen during the fractionation process. Real-time measurement of LF fiber length and post-fractionation processing steps are also included in the method, allowing for the alteration of processing parameters to maintain the desired LF fiber length variability range. The patent also covers controlling the fiber fractionation system based on properties of a moving web or a finished sheet, such as porosity, strength properties, basis weight, and more, by adjusting the rotor's rotational speed accordingly.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.