Boxboards and linerboards firm Metsä Board is testing foam forming technology at its Kyro mill in Finland, to produce lightweight paperboards.
The foam forming process involves aerating the water-fiber suspension with a stream of tiny bubbles, to make the paperboard structure bulkier but weigh lighter.
The new technique, which leads to an even distribution of fibers in the web, helps improve the formation of the board, and reduce the use of raw materials, energy and water.
Metsä Board CEO Mika Joukio said: "We have already seen that the technology works in a laboratory environment as well as on pilot machines.
"Following promising laboratory scale results and our detailed feasibility studies, we reached a decision to invest in further development of the technology on a production machine. Our target is to offer our customers even more efficient and ecologically sound paperboards in the future."
Machine supplier Valmet is overseeing the installation of the technology at the mill.
The firm has been carrying out research in association with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland under the Finnish Bioeconomy Cluster FIBIC's research programs.
Established in 1971, the Kemi Mill in northern Finland produces coated and uncoated white top kraftliner for corrugated retail and consumer packaging.
With an annual capacity of 410,000t, the mill manufactures Kemiart Graph+, Lite+, and Ultra double coated white-top kraftliners, and Kemiart Brite uncoated white top kraftliner.
The mill was upgraded in 2011 to rebuild the coating section and install a second coating station.