Molded pulp, also named moulded pulp or molded Fibre, a blend of paper and water, is a packaging material, typically made from recycled paperboard and newspaper. Because pulp can be molded into complex 3-dimensional shapes with the ability to effectively enclose and protect product, molded pulp continues to emerge as the interior dunnage of choice for many packaging applications. It is also used for fast-food service trays and beverage carriers. Other typical uses are end caps, trays and clamshell containers. A good understanding of the paper fibers and mastering special manufacturing skills are the key to process these fibers for each product application.
Molded pulp is made from water and post-consumer secondary fiber – including newsprint, corrugated and other select paper grades – in a large vat to create a slurry of proper consistency. Customized production molds, which are attached to a molding machine, are submerged into this slurry. Pulp is drawn onto the screen mold via a vacuum process; paper fibers accumulate to a desired thickness and strength while excess water is removed. The fibrous formed mold is then transferred to an oven rack whereby it is carefully dried, packed and prepared for delivery.
The relatively soft paper fibers of molded pulp cushion and absorb impact while at the same time providing environmentally friendly packaging. Molded pulp offers excellent blocking, bracing and support functions and is highly shock absorbent for interior protective and sustainable packaging purposes.