Do you have fireproof moulded pulp packaging

Table of Contents

Yes, fireproof moulded pulp packaging is available, incorporating fire-retardant chemicals like borax to resist temperatures up to 200°C, ideal for shipping electronics safely.

Material Composition

To create fireproof moulded pulp packaging, manufacturers take the recycled paper fibers and mix them with fire-retardant chemicals. In this case, the most common chemicals are ammonium sulfate and boric acid that interact with the cellulose in pulp, making it very resistant to fire Kanari, Alkyor, & Donnot 613. In addition to enhancing the strength of the fiber material, combining those chemical with cellulose creates a char barrier that slows down the combustion process. Thus, when packed with fireproof moulded pulp, the slow combustion not only saves the belongings but also prevents the fire from spreading on goods and eventually stops it.

The fireproof moulded pulp is commonly used by electronics manufacturers to ensure that their products can not be ignited from the outside during the transportation process. Particularly, when big and expensive products are transported, such as laptops and smartphones that contain lithium-ion batteries, they might very easily overheat and catch fire. Therefore, using packaging that can sustain temperatures as high as 200°C, electronics manufacturing companies send their products in safe packages to minimize the risk of fires during shipment.

The treatment is relatively cheap, as the chemicals that are used are not very expensive, and the costs vary greatly upon the used amount of fire-resistant chemicals and the needed level of resistance. Commonly, the price increases by 10-20% as compared to standard moulded pulp packaging price. Nevertheless, this extra cost ensures that the goods produced by the company are safe to buy, store, and transport, and the price is very beneficial against the price that a company has to pay due to a fire. The most important aspects in the operation of fireproof moulded pulp packaging are the precision and mix of pulp and fire-retardant chemicals. Several times during the production process, manufacturers test various 7 batches of the product by igniting them. After checking resistance to fire, manu.COMPETING INSTINCTSFAITH IN COMPETITIVE ECONOMICS facturers usually raise this resistance to up to twice as the requirements are by law.

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Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process of the fireproof moulded pulp packaging starts with the preparation of raw materials which mainly include recycled paper and cardboard. First, the paper is shred into the small pieces and soak it in the water to create a slurry. It is the most vital part of a moulded pulp. It is essential that mix thickness is uniform enough, so there no weak spots in the final molded items. Not absorbing water properly, some areas retain dry and fragile. This lack of moisture causes the thin-walled cavity parts to be easily removed from items and reduces their stiffness.

Then the fire-retardant chemicals are added to a slurry, such as borax or alum. These substances are added to the pulp fibers adding the cellulose and give them a quality of resisting ignition and slow the spread. The proportion of these substances should be significant, typically, it combines 5% of the total mass of dried pulp. It is crucial as the mass of the fire-retardant chemicals has to be enough to provide fire resistance but has to allow to mold the pulp, and the latter not to deteriorate the molded item’s strength. The treated pulp is put to the forming machine that shapes the pulp using vacuum on the molds. The molds may differ in the number of the packagings and the forms to create the items that are suitable for packing a product of any nature from small electronic pieces to significant details of a car.

This feature is the most beneficial of using the molded pulp that makes it suitable for the use of any item from any industry. After shaping, the formed packagings are dried in large industrial ovens, the items dry, and all moisture disappears in the process. The dried molded packagings are now heated enough to allow the fire-retardant chemicals added in the second stage of the process to activate by the drying pulp, and they are firmly attached to the cellulose fibers. The temperature of the drying and time is precisely calculated to allow the maximal activation of the fire-resistant feature and minimal destruction of the pulp in the process.

It typically is happening on a 180 0 C for 10 minutes. This temperature and time of drying has proved to be maximal in drying the items on this stage of the process and not to damage the pulp creating molded items of the supreme quality. After, the last step follows its quality check of each batch of the fireproof molded pulp packagings whether they are fire resistant and strong to be sold. The test includes the lighting of the sample with the flame or exposing it up with a gas flame and project the flame on the samples to check the reaction of the material to the heat. If the test is successful, items are cooled, packed, and sent to the customer.

Standards Compliance

In order to ensure the protective function of fireproof moulded pulp packaging and reduce the risk of fire, it must comply with fire safety standards. These standards are determined by each industry and country, but they generally include the flammability, rate of burn, and smoke rating tests. One of the main standards of the United States in the sphere of fire resistance of materials is the ASTM E84, or the Steiner Tunnel Test, which is used to determine the flame spread and smoke developed indices of materials used in interiors. The manufacturers of fireproof moulded pulp packaging use different tests to prove their products to be compliant.

To adhere to the ASTM E84 standard, the fireproof moulded pulp packaging must have a flame spread index of less than 25 and a smoke-developed index of less than 450. If the packaging reaches these indices, it is classified as a Class A material and can be used in locations where fire resistance is paramount. In general, the packaging allows to securely store and transport different devices, auto parts, and even hazardous materials. In the latter the example of devices that pose a fire risk is the electronics production which often uses lithium-ion batteries. As the fireproof moulded pulp packaging is of Class A and does not allow the fire to spread, it significantly reduces the risk of the fire occurrence during storage and transportation.

Additionally, in order to prove the compliance, the manufacturers also need to pass the tests which affect the cost and production timeline of the materials. To prove the packaging product is compliant, the manufacturer may invest in more unordinary and sophisticated processing or in superior fire-retardant chemicals. This, in turn, increases the production cost of the material by 15-20%. However, in this instance, the high costs can be justified as, in the long-term perspective, the fireproof material can prevent the fire from occurring, which can prevent even higher costs.

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Applications

Fireproof moulded pulp packaging is used in various industries where conditions require additional safety considerations related to the inherent fire risks of the products in this type of packaging. One of the primary uses is found in the electronics segment, where companies use this packaging for their smartphones, laptops, and other devices which feature lithium-ion batteries. It is widely known that these batteries pose a considerable fire risk if damaged -ce and when they are placed in such packaging, the risks are notably reduced. Even if the batteries overheat to the point of detonation, the packaging creates a sufficient barrier that most often completely prevents the surrounding pulp from combusting, as it is designed to withstand ignition of up to 1000 degrees Celsius. This application is instrumental for the safety of transport of the electronic devices with these fire-charged components and guarantees minimum liability in case of an incident.

Another critical application of fireproof moulded pulp packaging is evident in the mechanical and automotive segment, where airbag initiators, battery packs, and mechanically sensitive parts are shipped in such packaging. The conditions of transport often include a high-speed collision and occasional temperature spikes due to friction between the components, and it is imperative that the pulp withholds the ability to combust under such conditions. This application is critical for two reasons -it guarantees the safety of the vehicle crew transporting the parts and prevents large-scale calamities due to fires caused by the packaging, and it protects the mechanical parts shipped in the containers.

Similar conditions require the application of such moulded pulp packaging in the aerospace segment for the transport of flammable liquids and small parts which require withstanding high pressure and temperature fluctuations. In terms of costs, the production of this type of packaging is costlier than the non-fireproof type by 10-20%. However, considering the increased risks and potential costs to the organisation in case of an incident, the value of reduced liability often outweighs the cost of the pulp implementation. For example, if the mobile devices with the electronics powered by lithium-ion batteries were to combust, and an entire shipment was to be recalled due to fire risks, the cost of the resultant damage to the organising company is often thousands or millions of dollars, making the cost of the fireproof packaging negligible.

Environmental Impact

Fireproof moulded pulp packaging is an efficient way to protect products, as the addition of fire-retardant chemicals makes it applicable in situations where a higher degree of fire danger is present. At the same time, there are no notable drawbacks to its use, given that it still remains sufficiently environment-friendly. First, make note of the fact that moulded pulp is made predominantly from recycled paper or cardboard, reducing the effect on natural forests by reducing dependency on virgin wood pulp. Second, because the use of recycled paper pulp requires significantly less energy, it also has a limited effect on the emission of carbon, making the material environmentally safer on a lifecycle basis compared to traditional paper pulp.

Both boric acid and borax, the two accepted fire retardants, have low environmental impact and have an insignificant tendency to be washed away over the lifetime of the product. Additionally, the chemicals do not break down into dangerous by-products, so the packaging contributes very little to the overall soil or water pollution. Similarly, because the packaging is still made from moulded pulp, it remains biodegradable, even if fire retardants may slow down the process of degradation. There is no danger to the environment from simply throwing away the mold as it is, and it may even be possible to recycle it at a later time.

It is also worth noting that the process of manufacturing moulded pulp with fire-retardant additives is somewhat more energy-intensive, but not to a degree that would cause serious environmental problems. There is a 5% increase in total energy use between the base production process – consisting of the pulping, molding, and drying of the pulp – and the process that also adds chemicals, a rate alleviated by the significant decrease in safety hazards. Many companies using this material in the packaging of their products also advertise this fact to the consumers, as using a fireproof material is a major selling point in many industries that is only enhanced by the environmentally responsible manufacturing.

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