Glue-free technologies increase environmental & operational efficiencies


Converting tissue into rolled products is an adhesive-intensive process. It requires a total of four adhesives: one used during core winding, a second during pickup/transfer, a third for ply bonding lamination, and a fourth seals the tail.

With greater emphasis being placed on sustainability throughout the paper industry as a whole, this reliance on adhesives has come under recent scrutiny. While an array of natural and semi-synthetic adhesives are available to make tissue converting more eco-friendly, it hasn’t fully aligned rolled tissue products and processes with sustainability initiatives.

The traditional adhesives used in bathroom tissue log production, for example, have been studied at length and found to be:

  • Poorly degradable as solid waste
  • A threat to wastewater treatment
  • Exceedingly dependent on oxygen consumption during the prolonged organic breakdown

Adhesives also introduce operational inefficiencies for tissue converters. Aside from the expense — which can increase total delivered costs (TDC) by up to 2% on value/superpremium branded products in the United States — using adhesives on the production line can be problematic: 

  • Machinery requires additional cleaning to keep contact surfaces free from glue
  • Adhesives can dry out during lengthy downtimes
  • Paper dust inevitably contaminates adhesives, resulting in wasted material and the added expense of special waste disposal

Tissue converters find themselves caught between the need for adhesives and the ecological and operational consequences of using them. It’s a complicated position to be in. It’s also compelling industry leaders such as Valmet to implement comprehensive sustainability initiatives and introduce practical, adhesive-free solutions like glueless technologies.

Solid and Solid+ 

Valmet’s Solid and Solid+ technologies are environmentally focused compact rewinding solutions that eliminate the use of a central core. Solid produces rolls wound with no cardboard core, and Solid+ is the first toilet roll to replace the traditional inner cardboard core with an extractable mini roll.

Solid and Solid+ reduce environmental impact through:

  • Reducing packaging material by up to 10%
  • Decreasing raw material demand and lowering related TDC by 1-2% for value/super-premium branded products in the United States
  • Optimizing transportation costs while reducing emissions as up to 16% more product fits on a standard load
  • Ensuring zero waste with every tissue roll
  • Eliminating the use of glue for core making and pickup/transfer

Aquabond Water Lamination

A sustainable water lamination technology, Aquabond replaces adhesive with water during ply bonding. No new machinery is required to use this technology and neither the machine’s performance nor final product quality is compromised. 

Aquabond technology is more than eco-friendly; it can be implemented directly from the HMI to simplify ply bonding, reducing the time and costs associated with embosser maintenance and cleaning.

Available for pure or recycled paper fiber, Aquabond:

  • Guarantees quality adhesion of the plies even at high speed
  • Provides efficiency comparable to adhesive-based ply bonding
  • Cuts production expenses by completely eliminating adhesives
  • Improves finished product softness

Web Tuck Glueless Rewinder

The Web Tuck system allows for initial core pick-up without the use of adhesive. Production is more sustainable and cost-efficient while also less messy and wasteful. 

Tail Sealer Model 563

The Tail Sealer Model 563 includes a tail-sealing solution that joins the tail to the roll using mechanics instead of adhesive. This glue-free technology:

  • Ensures perfect sealing
  • Simplifies starting a new roll — no more wasted initial sheets
  • Improves finished roll quality
  • Incrementally increases line efficiency
  • Eliminates downtime related to glue in the accumulator, log saw, or packaging unit

Removing adhesives from the tissue converting process is a win for the environment, customers, and manufacturers’ bottom lines. Learn more about the versatile range of glue-free technologies and other Valmet earth-friendly solutions in Sustainability: Challenges, Strategies & Solutions for the Tissue Industry.