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Thinking about paper

We don't think about paper very much, but it is an essential part of our lives. There are hundreds of grades, each with their own unique properties that make them just right for the job they need to do. Here are just a few examples :-

  • Sack paper for animal feed and building products
  • Decorative papers for wallpaper and laminates
  • Business papers for receipts, invoices and photocopying
  • Security papers for currency and passports
  • Filtration papers for laboratories, tea bags and coffee filters
  • Board to hold and protect your breakfast cereal, cosmetics and medicines
  • Graphic papers for company reports, roadside billboards and magazines

These last two categories are printed products and they rely on good quality and expensive coatings using starch or latex to bind pigments to the surface of the sheet.

The printing process, usually the offset process is quite an aggressive process and so the coating producers rely on additional materials to reinforce the strength of the coating. Ammonium zirconium carbonate is one such product.

Such products protect the coatings against printing faults such as wet pick, dry pick, set off, mottle and dusting.

The picture above shows the results of a wet pick test. Without this type of additive, the sample on the left shows how the ink roller has ripped up the surface of the coating to expose the coating layer below, whereas the sample on the right has the additive incorporated into the coating formulation.

Article First Published : 7/5/2015