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The Process Development Center

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Facilities Available for Use - Coating and Finishing

The PDC routinely works with clients to improve product properties and lower costs by formulating and applying coatings to their products. Coating a thin layer of material on the surface of paper, film, foil, or composites is a very effective method of adding functionality and value to a product. Printing papers, paper cups, grease-resistant food packaging, and high strength composites all benefit from quality coatings.

The PDC’s researchers can perform a number of different coating and finishing experiments, including testing for printability on a new paper product, determining the effectiveness of barrier coatings and evaluating fiber structure and interactions at the nano-scale.

Resources available for the use of clients include:

The PDC has expanded its pilot coating capability. The new service includes an industrial scale, High-Speed Pilot Web Coater that offers a wide range of coating applications. These include trailing blade or rod, speeds up to 4200 fpm, web width up to 28 inches, and in-line finishing capability. The web coater is capable of processing paper directly from the PDC’s pilot paper machine or from commercial machines. The coater can process webs up to 12 inches in width at speeds of up to 100 fpm. Our customers have full access to a complete pilot scale facility that can process raw materials into a finished web product, all in one location.

The Cylindrical Laboratory Coater (CLC 6000) provides an ideal means to evaluate coating formulations and substrates at commercial operating conditions. The CLC operates at speeds up to 6,000 fpm with pigmented coatings of up to 70% solids.

The PDC also has an advanced pilot laboratory coater available on-site.

Calendering improves the printing properties of paper, and is controlled by base sheet moisture content, coating composition of coating, line speed, pressure and temperature. The PDC has an on-machine calender located prior to the reel of the paper machine, as well as an off-line, heated, soft-nip calender.

The PDC has a wide variety of print tests for paper and paperboard products, including a KRK Universal Printability Tester for testing of the pick, gloss and mottle and an IGT Printability Tester for evaluating surface strength.


Paper Surface Science Program
The Paper Surface Science Program (PSSP) is an industry consortium working under the direction of Dr. Douglas Bousfield. It seeks to develop fundamental and applied knowledge about paper surface treatment processes (sizing, coating, printing, gluing) and structure-performance relationships in manufactured products. Areas of research include fluid-paper interactions in surface treatments and physics and chemistry of paper surfaces.

To begin working with us, visit our Planning Your Project page.

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Contact Information

The Process Development Center
5737 Jenness Hall
Orono, ME 04469
Phone: 207.581.2281 | Fax: 207.581.4174
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System