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12 tips for forming fabrics that will not lay flat

Released on Sep. 11, 2023

If you are dealing with forming fabrics that do not lay flat on the paper machine, it can lead to various operational issues and impact paper quality. Here are some tips to address this problem:

1. Inspect Fabric Tension:

Check the fabric's tension settings. Uneven or incorrect tension can cause the fabric to buckle or wrinkle. Adjust the tension to ensure it's uniform across the entire width of the fabric.

2. Check Fabric Alignment:

Ensure that the forming fabric is properly aligned on the machine. Misalignment can cause wrinkles and distortions. Align the fabric properly with the machine's guidance and tracking systems.

3. Monitor Fabric Wear:

Over time, forming fabrics can wear out, leading to irregularities. Regularly inspect the fabric for signs of wear and replace worn-out sections promptly.

4. Inspect Guide Rolls and Components:

Damaged or worn-out guide rolls, turning rolls, and other components can contribute to fabric issues. Inspect and replace these components as needed to maintain smooth fabric movement.

5. Eliminate Foreign Objects:

Foreign objects on the fabric's surface can prevent it from laying flat. Regularly inspect the fabric for debris, paper shreds, or other foreign materials and remove them.

6. Consider Fabric Conditioning:

Some forming fabrics benefit from conditioning treatments to reduce their tendency to curl or warp. Consult with fabric manufacturers to determine if conditioning treatments are suitable for your specific fabric.

7. Control Fabric Temperature:

Excessive heat or temperature variations can cause forming fabrics to distort. Maintain consistent and appropriate machine temperatures to minimize thermal stress on the fabric.

8. Use Proper Fabric Material:

The choice of fabric material can affect its tendency to lay flat. Consult with fabric manufacturers to select a material that is less prone to warping or curling based on your paper machine's conditions.

9. Implement Fabric Tracking Systems: 

Invest in advanced tracking and guiding systems that can automatically adjust the fabric's position to maintain proper alignment and flatness.

10. Regular Maintenance:

Implement a comprehensive maintenance program for your forming fabric. This includes routine cleaning, lubrication, and inspection to prevent issues from developing.

11. Operator Training:

Ensure that operators are trained to identify and address fabric-related issues promptly. Operator vigilance is critical in maintaining smooth fabric operation.

12. Consult with Fabric Manufacturers: 

Reach out to the fabric manufacturer or supplier for specific guidance on optimizing the performance of your forming fabric. They can provide tailored recommendations based on your machine's configuration and operating conditions.

12 tips for forming fabrics that will not lay flat

Addressing forming fabric issues promptly and systematically is essential for maintaining paper machine efficiency and product quality. Regular monitoring and preventive maintenance can help you ensure that the fabric lays flat and operates smoothly throughout its service life.

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