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The Process Development Center

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Facilities Available for Use - Stock Prep/Refining

Stock preparation is a fundamental operation for any manufacturing process using fiber. At the PDC, we can take virtually any raw material – from wood and agricultural residuals to any plant or synthetic source – and produce a wide range of products. Our pilot plant is fully equipped to perform all major areas of stock preparation, including size reduction, repulping, cleaning, screening, and refining.

Refining is a critical operation in which the inherent properties of the paper are developed. The PDC has two double disc refiners (13-inch and 20-inch), both equipped with variable speed motors. The refiner loop is connected to several tanks for refining studies in the recirculation or single pass mode. A conical refiner is also available for use by PDC researchers. The refiners allow for a range of refining prior to papermaking as well as for a comparison of the benefits provided by each type of machine.

Our high capacity refiner loop allows users to test fiber refining techniques at an industrial scale, with greater control over process variables. The various refining designs available at the PDC represent the majority of those currently used in the industry and are used to compare fiber quality, refining equipment and process variables. Results can then be evaluated in the PDC’s testing labs.

Pulp impurities arising from wood or external sources can be separated based on size, shape, specific gravity, and specific surface differences. Centrifugal cleaners are arranged to allow for performance evaluation under typical operating conditions and a pressure screen can remove oversized foreign bodies. Our Centri-sorter can be operated under a wide variety of conditions.

Potential Studies

Stock Preparation Equipment


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


Image Description: Stock preparation tanks

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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