Five Major Benefits of Fabric Structures for Paper Mills

Paper mills are one of the oldest industries around. But if you own or work at a paper mill, you know the industry is always updating and innovating. Is your company trying to do any of the following?

  • Grow to meet new market demands.
  • Adapt to be more environmentally friendly.
  • Increase employee safety and product protection.

If so, engineered fabric structures from Alaska Structures® can help your paper mill facilities reach these modern goals. Fabric structures serve a broad range of industries by providing durable temporary or permanent structures. And there are many benefits of fabric structures for paper mills looking to innovate their facilities!

How Paper Mills Benefit From Fabric Structures?

Paper mills that are looking to modernize their facilities should consider including fabric structures in their plans. Here are five major benefits of fabric structures for paper mills.

1. Easy Expansion

Recently, paper mills have had a higher than usual demand for toilet paper amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On the one hand, this is good news for paper mills. But on the other hand, it can be a difficult trend to navigate.

For example, Georgia Pacific Corp., in Green Bay, is working at 120% of their normal capacity just to keep up with demand. This puts a large amount of stress on workers and machinery alike.  

Paper mills can build new plants or expand on existing ones to meet these new demands. However, it’s unclear whether this will be worth the investment. After all, the rush of panic-buying paper goods may subside by the time a long construction project is completed.

In contrast to typical brick-and-mortar construction, fabric structures offer a quick and simple expansion solution. That way, paper mills can expand their facilities in a fraction of the time. 

2. Energy Efficiency

Modern paper mills are increasingly more aware of the impact that their industry has on the environment. Many paper and pulp mills are working to make their plant operations more environmentally friendly.

This year, Georgia-Pacific's Leaf River cellulose mill became the first-ever pulp mill to be STAR ENERGY-certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

If your paper or pulp mill is ready to make energy-efficient improvements, fabric structures can help. Our skylight packages allow plant operations to utilize the natural sunlight during the day to create a bright and safe working environment. We also offer energy-efficient electrical, lighting, and insulation systems to complement and further increase the energy-efficiency of our fabric building solutions. This will help cut down on the mill’s overall energy output. 

[Related: Fabric Buildings & Energy Efficiency]

3. Dust Control and Fire Safety

Another one of the major benefits of fabric structures for paper mills involves protecting and controlling wood chip masses. Pulp mills store tens of millions of dollars of wood chips. Storing them properly can make all the difference, including the following:

  • Minimizing fiber losses
  • Controlling dust
  • Reducing the risk of fire

Every time wood chips are handled, they break up into smaller pieces and enter the air. As a result, your valuable product loses bits of fiber. Plus, dust in the air can get caught, clogging your machinery and the lungs of your mill workers. In worst case scenarios, wood chips in the air can catch on fire.

Engineered fabric structures offer an optimal wood chip storage solution for paper mills. Each structure is built to exceed fire safety requirements outlined by the California Code of Regulations for membrane structures. Plus, they protect against other harsh weather conditions such as intense wind, rain, and snow. 

Each fabric structure can be custom-designed to almost any size and include custom-sized entryways. That way, you’ll be able to store one of your mill’s most valuable assets safely and effectively.

4. Mold- and Mildew-Resistant

A large part of the paper-making process involves water. Most often, paper mills are located near large bodies of water. For this reason, it is crucial for their buildings to be able to stand up against water damage over time. 

Traditional building materials like wood or brick can easily erode or rot from water exposure, especially when placed near coastal areas that experience sea spray or salt air. However, Alaska Structures offers powder-coated frame systems to provide additional protection against corrosion. 

Whether it is battling high humidity from being located near a body of water, protecting the frame system of your building from salt air and sea spray, or if you are using your fabric structure to store corrosive chemicals, our engineered fabric structures are purposefully built to withstand harsh environments. 

Additionally, our fabric structures are virtually maintenance-free, allowing you to focus on meeting demand and not the constant building maintenance required by other prefabricated building solutions (like metal or steel buildings).  Our engineered fabric structures are built specifically so they will not rot and are mold- and mildew-resistant. 

5. Chemically Inert

Finally, fabric structures are ideal for paper mill facilities because the architectural membranes from Alaska Structures are engineered to be chemically inert. 

Paper mills use a variety of chemicals in the paper-making process; however, not all paper mill facilities are chemically resistant. Chemical accidents can lead to dangerous structural damage, dangerous conditions for employees, and loss of valuable products. 

In contrast, engineered fabric structures are incredibly durable. Our optional powder coating process and chemically inert membrane systems create a long-lasting building solution requiring little to no maintenance.

[Related: The Benefits of Fabric Buildings From Alaska Structures]

Building Fabric Structures for Paper Mill Facilities

Building modern paper mill facilities with fabric structures is simple with Alaska Structures. From design and purchasing to shipping and building, we help you each step of the way.

Custom Design

Each paper mill is unique and has its own specific needs. At Alaska Structures, we specialize in application-specific design. Whatever your needs, we will customize an ideal solution to meet them. 

Quick and Easy Setup

Once you’ve decided on a design, your fabric structure will take little time to install. We offer worldwide delivery and ship our fabric structures in low-cube packaging to make shipping to your preferred location as fast and cost-effective as possible. 

All of our fabric structures are easy and quick to install. We also offer optional installation services if you prefer. Our goal is to help you make your paper mill improvements on time and within budget.

Plus, if your mill changes over time and you need to reconsider your layout, reconstruction is easy. Our fabric structures are as simple to disassemble as they are to set up, making them ideal temporary or permanent buildings.

[Related: Increasing Efficiency in the Timber Industry With Engineered Fabric Structures]

Friendly Support

Our technical experts and in-house engineers ensure safety and compliance with local or international building codes, so you can start building without worry. Simply contact one of our friendly building specialists to start planning today!

Telephone: +1-907-344-1565


Or use our online contact form and submit your request.


Featured image via Wikimedia Commons

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