Modification and adjustments of materials
Electrical insulation components are used in oil-cooled power and distribution transformers. The components are made to different three-dimensional shapes. The first step of the traditional way of producing these components is a common papermaking process. The resulting sheets are glued together and then manually formed and shaped to the desired form. There is a clear need to improve the manufacturing process of electrical insulation components, in terms of energy consumption, waste generation, duration and automation.
Cellulose is the common raw material for the insulation components due to its high purity, excellent dielectric strength, good mechanical strength, ability to be permeated with oil, and long lifetime at operating temperature. The special cellulose for electrical insulation components is made of 100 % softwood (pine and spruce) in a sulphate process. This pulp can be bleached or unbleached. The cellulose can’t be used as it is (sheets or flakes) in new processes like 3D printing and thermoforming.
JRS is one of the ten partners in the NOVUM project and we are committed to the development, processing and optimization of high-grade natural fibers from cellulose for the use in technical applications. The research facilities of JRS have equipment for the mechanical and chemical modification of organic cellulosic plant materials and their characterization.
The special softwood kraft pulp will definitely be the main raw material. It needs to be modified regarding dosing form and particle size. This can be done by various milling steps and/or a granulating process. For example pellets or filaments are needed for 3D printing of cellulosic material.
It will be necessary to add other cellulose based components such as microcrystalline cellulose, cellulose gels, cellulose acetates and other cellulose derivates. With these additions we can achieve the necessary processability, flexibility and strength values of the material which is needed for the new production methods 3D printing and thermoforming.
The main target is to have a 100 % all natural, cellulose based material. This guarantees sustainability and responsible resources.
Author : JRS