How is printing paper made?

Many of us use paper on a day to day basis. We may use it to help fill out notes in school, to print off invoices for customers, or to get something else done during the day. We may find that it is difficult to get through the day without having some paper in hand to get it done. But how many of us have any idea of how printing paper is actually made? Do we know the process that needs to happen in order to take the paper and make it into something that others are able to use? Let’s take a look at some of the basics of creating printing paper!

 

Making pulp

The first step is to take the logs and convert it into wood pulp. With the mechanical process, the logs are tumbled onto drums to remove the bark before being sent to the grinders to break the wood into pulp. This pulp will then be filtered in order to get rid of some foreign objects. There is also a chemical process, the pulp is going to be cooked inside of a chemical solution to get it ready.

Beating

The pulp is then going to be placed through the process of beating, which is a process of squeezing and pounding the pulp. The various filler materials are going to be added in this step including clays, chalks, and even titanium oxide. These are meant to decide the opacity and some other qualities of this product. The sizing will be picked at this time in order to affect how the paper reacts to some ink types so that it isn’t too absorbent.

 

Pulp to paper

To finally get the pulp to turn into paper, it is going to be fed into a giant machine, such as the Fourdrinier machine. The pulp will go through some rollers while some suction devices will drain the water off. The paper will then move into the pressing section where it is pressed between wool felt rollers. The paper will go over some steam heated cylinders to remove the rest of the water.

Finishing

Finally, once the paper is dried, it is going to be wound up into large reels, where it is going to be processed a bit more depending on the ultimate use. The paper is then smoothed and compacted with some metal rollers. Sometimes other chemicals can be used in order to make the paper shiny or hard, such as with calendars and it can receive different pigments to become coloured paper if needed as well.

As you can see, this kind of paper is often going to use a lot of chemicals and there are many different environmental concerns that come with using this process. it may be one of the most efficient options right now for you to get paper, but all the chemicals can make it unsafe for the environment, both during the manufacturing process and when you go to dispose of the paper.

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