Fluff pulp is a chemical pulp that is usually made of bleached cellulose fiber obtained from wood that has long fibers. Also known as fluffy pulp, comminution pulp, and fluffing, this pulp is made from trees classified as softwood, which means they belong to the conifer family, such as pines. Fluff pulp is produced worldwide in huge amounts. Some estimates put annual production in the range of 3.5 million tonnes. It is available in a large variety of grades and is used to create a large array of personal hygiene products.
Slash pine and other trees that yield softwood are treated chemically until they break down into fluffy pulp. Some companies eschew using fluffy pulp because of the huge toll it takes on the environment. Trees harvested to make pulp may come from natural forests, and once cut down, they can take more than a decade to grow back. A few prefer to use natural cotton instead of fluffy pulp to create hygiene-related products because cotton cultivation has less of a negative impact on the ecosystem.
This pulp is used as the absorbent core in products like baby diapers, sanitary pads, and incontinence pads. They are also used to make food-grade absorbent pads and air laid products, which are fibrous webs that are thicker and more absorbent than paper. Air laid products made of fluff pulp are used in a variety of applications, such as making dry and wet wipes, cooking paper, baby wipes, and training pants. To make air laid products, the fibers in the pulp need to be freed from each other before they are processed in a paper machine; this process is called defibration. The greater tensile strength and tear resistance of air laid products made from fluff pulp make them excellent choices for multiple disposable absorbent applications in both the industrial and consumer markets.
This pulp is distinguished by several characteristics, such as its absorption properties and uniform runnability, which is a combination of properties that allow the material to be processed smoothly. Even quality, uniform disintegration, and good core strength are some of the other characteristics taken into account by fluff pulp manufacturers. The pulp is rolled into rolls or reels for transportation and storage, and the reels are directly converted by manufacturers into air laid or hygiene products. Fluff pulp may be used exclusively or combined with synthetic or superabsorbent polymers to create absorbent personal products that can retain fluids and distribute liquids.