In plasterboard production, water serves two important functions. While some water is required to set the plaster, the majority is to give enough fluidity to the plaster slurry as it is being formed.
This excess water must be removed in the drying process, hence the term water loss. The challenge is to use less water in the forming process, while still maintaining the favourable properties of the finished product.
Water loss reduction has been a focus in both Matraville and Altona since January 2007, with a 5% reduction achieved on the standard product. This has translated into dryer gas savings of almost 4% in Matraville.
Initiatives to reduce water loss are ongoing and are an integral part of the Matraville’s Water Savings Action Plan, which targets a water use reduction of 5% for 2009.