Dave Young has over 40 years of experience in air systems for the Pulp and Paper Industry. He currently works as the U.S. Operations Manager for Enerquin. His background in paper and drying process includes a focus on air management.
Let’s discuss the importance of having a proper basement enclosure in paper and boards mills.
Why is a basement enclosure important?
In order to ensure the proper operation of a closed paper machine hood, an appropriate enclosure of the basement is required. The hood and basement enclosure go hand in hand. Typically manufactured using concrete blocks and aluminum panels, the basement enclosure is located directly beneath the closed hood, and its footprint is slightly larger than that of the hood. A poorly sealed enclosure permits infiltration of the basement air into the hood, which tends to pressurize the hood. A pressurized hood creates a scenario where hot, humid hood air spills into the machine room, which causes an uncomfortable and potentially unsafe work environment and degrades the integrity of the building core. Therefore, the basement enclosure is a prerequisite for having a properly balanced hood where air movement in the dryer section is controlled.
How important is it to keep the basement enclosure tightly sealed?
Operator access to the basement enclosure is sometimes required during machine operation. However, if the doors are left open too long, the hood will become pressurized. Uncontrolled air movement may also have a negative effect on the sheet moisture profile or cause other quality problems. Keep your basement enclosure doors closed as much as possible!
Are there any other benefits to having a basement enclosure?
I was contacted by a paper mill in the South-Eastern U.S. with a large linerboard machine with a closed hood. The mill operators had been complaining about very high temperatures on the operating floor throughout most of the year. The mill asked me to analyze the building ventilation system to propose solutions to address this issue. What I found was a complete lack of a basement enclosure. We installed a basement enclosure as the first step of a multi-phase project, and it directly resulted in an overall average temperature drop of 5 degrees F on the operating floor and a noticeable drop in humidity. This represented a significant and immediate benefit for a relatively low-cost project.
How easy is it to add a new basement enclosure if none exists?
You will need a bit of raw material and a few “tin knockers”!