Specialty Minerals Precipitated Calcium Carbonate Products for Paperboard Applications

SMI’s broad portfolio of products and technologies are finding their way into the Paperboard Packaging industry by delivering value to customers while helping these customers in meeting ever evolving market trends.  From end user demands for improved print images on the outside of packages, to enriched optical properties on white printed package surfaces, SMI has technologies and solutions to help the Paperboard Packaging manufacturers meet these needs.  SMI has technologies that can assist in making the packages lighter in weight, while maintaining overall strength properties.  SMI continues to advance in the Paperboard Packaging industry, and with its Innovation Team, develop solutions for the industry.


Products and Applications for Paperboard

Albacar® Filler PCC enables packaging manufacturers to maintain critical properties while reducing raw material cost by replacing more expensive fiber with PCC.  SMI filler PCC also provides drainage assistance and superior bulking properties versus other materials.


Calcium Bentonite, when used as a filler, enables virgin line manufacturers to maintain critical strength properties in order to reduce raw material cost by replacing more expensive fiber.  Of greater benefit, Calcium Bentonite filler also provides drainage assistance for increased production.  The product features better retention characteristics, resulting in less or no retention chemistry experiments, and provides positive “scavenging” effects in the manufacturing process. NewYield® filler PCC provides drainage assistance, which results in cost savings by replacing more expensive fiber and addresses environmental concerns associated with waste materials.


FulFill® Technology enhances strength properties of the packaging sheet while facilitating the best fit cost performance use of existing raw materials.  Some examples of customer interest include light weighting and improved ring crush results.


Opacarb® Coating PCC provides enhanced surface properties along with superior paper and print gloss which improves the overall quality of printed packaging graphics.   Additional benefits are the replacement of high cost materials while improving the coated printed surface.


PCC Products for Filling Uncoated Paperboard:

Albacar® Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (PCC) Family

Albacar® precipitated calcium carbonates (PCCs) are a family of ideal mineral fillers for papermaking settings where maximum caliper and brightness are required. Its unique scalenohedral (or rosette) morphology, average particle size, and particle size distribution are controlled during synthesis to provide economical paper opacity, brightness, and bulk. Optimized filler bulk helps maintain paper grade stiffness. In addition, Albacar® PCC maximizes light scattering (opacity and brightness) which minimizes the need for costly alternative minerals and optical brighteners. This mineral filler is recommended for use in uncoated fine papers and coating base stock.

Specialty Minerals Inc. (SMI) manufactures three grades of Albacar® PCC as shown in the selector chart. In general, these scalenohedral calcite crystals have similar properties but differ in particle size and surface areas. These differences yield desirable properties that the papermaker can exploit to his advantage. For example, the smaller particle size Albacar® HO PCC is used where opacity and brightness are more important. The larger particle size Albacar® LO PCC is the filler of choice where improved sheet strength and added bulk are desired.

You can request technical data and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for Albacar® PCC products. Contact Us

Albafil® Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (PCC) Family

The Albafil® precipitated calcium carbonates (PCCs) from Specialty Minerals Inc. (SMI) represent a set of economical fiber substitutes that improve wet press efficiency, reduce dryer steam demand, and allow more bonding within the wet fiber web. Hence, Albafil® PCCs provide papermakers with higher productivity through fewer web breaks and faster machine speeds, while significantly improving sheet quality. Albafil® PCC’s particle size and shape also provide superior optical properties over ground calcium carbonate (GCC) and chalk.

Albafil® PCC is available in a range of closely controlled particle sizes that can be customized to suit an individual mill’s requirements. The narrow particle size distribution of Albafil® PCC, coupled with its prismatic shape, produces the best filler for higher mineral content alkaline papers. Its smaller average particle size scatters light more effectively than any natural ground filler, producing a more opaque and brighter sheet.

SMI manufactures four slurry grades of Albafil® PCC as shown in the selector chart. In general, these calcite crystals have similar properties but differ in particle sizes and surface areas. The smaller particle sizes can be used where opacification and porosity controls are desired. The larger particle sizes provide highest dry strength and excellent internal sizing.

For neutral or slightly acid papermaking systems, SMI has patented the AT® PCC system, which allows papermakers to use PCC in environments down to pH 6.5. The paper machine wet end environment is buffered to protect the PCC from acid dissolution.


Megafil® Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (PCC) Family

The Megafil® family of precipitated calcium carbonates (PCCs) from Specialty Minerals Inc. (SMI) act as functional additives and fiber substitutes in the paper web, offering a balance of improved dry strength properties and internal sizing advantages. In conjunction with the paper fibers, the solid prismatic crystals of Megafill® PCC create a uniform structure, which promotes greater paper stiffness and strength. In fact, the specific particle shape of Megafill® PCCs interferes less with fiber-to-fiber bonding than other common minerals.

Megafil® PCC also reduces wet end chemical usage. In many instances, this pigment can significantly increase internal sizing response with the same level of synthetic size. It promotes easier drying during paper production, creates a denser, flatter sheet than with traditional PCC fillers and develops a smoother substrate for subsequent coating operations. As with all PCC products from SMI, Megafil® PCCs are practically non-abrasive, high in brightness and display excellent first pass retention. Importantly, all of these benefits are made possible with improved paper machine speed and runnability.

There are three slurry grades of Megafil® PCC from SMI as shown in the selector chart. In general, these calcite prismatic crystals have similar properties but differ in particle sizes and surface areas. These differences give rise to desirable properties that can be exploited to the papermaker’s advantage. For example, the smaller particle size Megafil® 1000 PCC is used where optics and paper porosity are more important, while the larger particle size Megafil® 3000 PCC is recommended where strength and caliper control needed.

You can request technical data and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for Megafil® PCC products. Contact Us

Opacarb® Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (PCC) Family

Opacarb® precipitated calcium carbonates (PCCs) are a family of Specialty Minerals Inc.’s (SMI’s) products designed for coated paper and paperboard applications. With a range of aragonite particle sizes and narrow particle-size distributions, Opacarb®  PCCs are tailor-made to maximize fiber coverage and light scatter. From glossy to matte finishes, Opacarb® PCC provides both brightness and opacity increases not attainable with other commercial calcium carbonates.

Opacarb® PCC is ideal as a precoat or a topcoat pigment for offset and rotogravure printing on paper or board. Color print images are sharp and vibrant due to its narrow particle-size distribution, which provides an optimal coating structure for porosity control.

You can request technical data and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)  for Opacarb® PCC products. Contact Us

We continue to research and test new PCCs in our laboratories. Many of these products are designed to meet the changing demands of manufacturers of uncoated and coated papers and paperboards. New generations of high brightness, cost-efficient PCCs are capable of providing very high filler contents to enhance surface properties.

Backed up by multiple state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and access to pilot scale coating machines, we forge partnerships with our paperboard customers to create solutions for paper manufacturing problems. For example, SMI can assist in engineering plant design, optimizing paperboard machine , wet-end chemistry problems, and the best cost-performance benefits.