Moulded cellulose pilot

Production of innovative 3D cellulose objects

  • Small-scale production of moulded 3D cellulose objects
  • Testing of fibrous raw materials
  • Prototyping of new products (testing of moulds, etc.)
  • Testing and selection of functional additives
  • Research into innovative manufacturing concepts

The little story of the pilot

Ever heard of moulded cellulose? Yes, of course, egg boxes... there’s no need to make a meal of it!

Well, actually, you could say there is: it can be used to make dishes, trays, containers, plates, boxes and even bottles - in short, anything (just about) that you might want to eat a meal off! And what’s more, moulded cellulose looks nice and is light, soft to the touch, and eco-friendly: 100% cellulose means 100% renewable, 100% recyclable and 100% biodegradable!

Mindful of the opportunities which this material is opening up as the environment becomes an ever greater concern, the CTP has invested in a pilot facility for producing thermoformed moulded cellulose objects. The objective is to provide companies with a flexible test bench for performing studies of all types related to the development and prototyping of new products, the selection of raw materials or additives, optimisation, etc.

Test all your ideas on this brand-new pilot - contact us to find out how!


Forming unit

  • Pulp volume: 50 to 150 l
  • Concentration 7 to 10 g/l
  • Formation time: modular (1-20 sec)

Moulds available

  • 2D: 17 x 27 cm plates for physical and barrier characterisation
  • 3D: 190 x 140 x 45 trays for demonstration
  • Specific moulds to meet customers’ needs

Drying unit: hot press

  • Pressure: 20 to 50 kN
  • Temperature: 150 to 220°C
  • Time: variable (30 to 120 sec)


  • 20 to 50 objects per day


Description of the equipment

The equipment is composed of two sub-units, the first of which is a wet forming unit made up of a tank containing the diluted pulp and an arm supporting the filtering mould. The arm is used to place the mould under a vacuum and plunge it into the suspension for a few seconds. In this way, a fibre mat with the desired shape is deposited on the surface of the mould. The preformed object is removed using a mould with a complementing shape and taken to the second unit, a hot press with plates equipped with two male/female moulds between which the preform is placed. The press is closed in order to stress-dry the preform at a high temperature for a few minutes. This results in an object with walls that are dense, smooth and have highly precise contours.


Typical services

  • Evaluation of fibrous raw materials or investigation of functional additives: the CTP draws on all its knowledge of pulp preparation and management of physical and chemical parameters to prepare the suspension to be formed. Moulding tests are then performed to produce objects with a 2D or 3D shape and the desired characteristics (grammage, thickness, density, etc.) Studies of properties (physical, mechanical, barrier, etc.) can also be proposed.
  • Assistance with the development of a specific mould. In this case the set of moulds must be adapted to our tools (dimensions, interfacing, etc.) before the moulding tests are performed.
  • Development of new production concepts to give 3D objects specific properties: functional barrier, enhanced mechanical properties, etc.
CTP-12-2019-538   CTP-12-2019-579-R

Equipment acquired in the context of the MALICS platform with support from the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes regional council.


Also to be seen

Centre of Excellence