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Paper Industry Glossary

Absorbency The extent to which a paper will take up and hold a liquid.
Additive A mineral, chemical or dye added to pulp and coatings to give it special qualities such as opacity.
Binder The adhesive used to stick the layer of coating together and to the paper or board surface; the most frequently used binder is starch but synthetic binders are also used to give improved performance. Synthetic binders are generally described as latex.
Biodegradable A substance which will decompose as the result of action by bacteria and other living organisms.
Blotting paper Highly absorbent paper which is sometimes watermarked; the ball point pen has drastically reduced the demand for this type of paper.
Board The papermaker's name for cardboard; it is thicker and heavier than paper and may be made of several layers laminated together.
Calendered Paper which has been smoothed and polished between sets of rollers called a calender; this process is usually done at the dry end of a papermaking machine.
Carbonless copy paper This consists of two sheets of paper; the underside of the top sheet is coated with colourless dye in tiny gelatine capsules; the underneath sheet is coated with a reactive chemical which turns blue or black when mixed with the colourless dye; pressure from a pen or typewriter on the top sheet causes the gelatine capsules to break, the dye and chemical mix and the blue or black copy appears on the bottom sheet.
Carbon paper A thin tissue paper coated on one side with colouring agent or carbon black which is transferred to a sheet of paper underneath when pressure is applied.
Carton A container usually made of board but sometimes partially or totally of plastic; it is delivered by the carton manufacturer to the user in either flat or collapsed form.
Cartridge paper Tough, slightly rough surfaced paper used for a variety of purposes such as envelopes; the name comes from the original use for the paper which formed the tube section of a shotgun shell.
Cases, corrugated Large boxes made of board which are used as containers for packages; cases are mainly used for transit and storage purposes.
Coating A layer of minerals applied to one or both sides of paper or board to improve brightness, gloss and printability; the mineral most often used is china clay, hydrated aluminium silicate, but calcium carbonate and titanium dioxide are also used; the coating is held together and stuck to the paper by a binder.
Container board Another name for corrugated board used to make transit cases or corrugated cases.
Contraries Unsuitable material found in waste paper which must be removed from the pulp before making it into paper, e.g. paperclips, string.
Converter A firm that specialises in converting reels and sheets of paper and board into packaging or finished goods for sale to the public.
Corrugated Board usually made up of a number of paper layers laminated together; the middle layer is fluted during the process and the outer layers, called liners, are glued to it to give a sandwich-like finish.
Cross direction The direction, at right angles to the machine direction across a sheet or web of paper; paper expands about three times as much in the cross section as in the machine direction.
Dandy roll The roll on the wet end of a papermaking machine which is covered with a woven wire and carries a design to form a watermark in wet pulp.
Downcycling Each time cellulose fibres are recycled they deteriorate slightly and become contaminated, so the new product is of lower quality than the original product which went to form the waste; the progressive deterioration of fibres means there is a limit to the number of times they can be recycled, thus the term downcycling is used as a more accurate description of recycling.
Dry end The part of a papermaking machine where the paper passes through steam-heated drying cylinders.
Esparto grass A grass naturally occurring in North Africa which, when pulped, produces a bulky fibre for making good quality paper; it was once a popular papermaking fibre.
Filler A material such as china clay or calcium carbonate which is added to make paper smoother and increase opacity.
Fourdrinier machine A papermaking machine that forms the paper in a continuous sheet; it was named after the Fourdrinier brothers who financed the first operational machine at the Frogmore Mill, Hertfordshire, in 1803.
Grammage The term used to denote the weight of paper or board; the measurement used is the weight of a single sheet of one square metre, expressed as gramme per square metre (g/mē).
Greaseproof paper Paper which resists grease, or prevents the fats found in some foods from soaking into it; the paper is produced by prolonged beating in the pulp stage.
Industrial Revolution The period after about 1760 during which the development of steam power and the invention of different types of machinery made Britain the leading industrial country in the world.
Integrated mill A mill which starts with logs or wood chips and first produces wood pulp which it then processes to make paper or board; there are only five integrated mills in Britain.
Kraft paper Paper made from a type of chemical wood pulp; it may be bleached or unbleached and produces a strong paper which is used for wrapping and packaging; the term comes from the German word for strong.
Laminate Overlay of sheets of paper or board either with other paper or board or with other materials such as plastic or metal foil to form a product with special qualities.
Landfill site An area set aside as a large dump for rubbish; old quarries and marshland are often used for this purpose.
Lignin Non-cellulose material found in wood and other cellulose plants; lignin in paper makes it weaker and more inclined to discolour when exposed to light; in the chemical pulp-making process most of the lignin is removed.
Machine direction The direction the wire mesh on a papermaking machine is travelling; over 50% of the fibres position themselves with their lengths parallel to this direction.
Multi-ply board machine A machine in which a number of plies of paper can be combined together in the wet state to produce thick cardboard.
Newsprint The relatively low grade paper on which newspapers are printed; it is mainly produced from mechanical pulp and recycled fibres.
Opacity The property of a paper which prevents light being seen through it, measured scientifically as the amount of light reflected by the paper; in practice, in a paper with good opacity the printing or writing on one side cannot normally be seen from the other side.
Packaging The paper and board used for wrapping or packing goods.
Papyrus An ancient writing material made from the stem of the papyrus plant, an African reed.
Plasterboard A type of board with a centre layer of gypsum and outer layers of board, used in the building industry.
Pulp Chemical pulp - Pulp made from wood chips by treating (cooking) with chemicals to separate out the cellulose fibres and dissolve the lignin, etc. binding them together; it can be bleached or unbleached.
Ream A unit of measurement for sheets of paper; normally 500.
Reel A continuous length of paper wound on a core.
Reelup The final process in making paper; after passing through the drying cylinders and, if appropriate, the calender rollers, the newly made paper is wound on to a jumbo reel: this is the reel up stage.
Rice paper Sometimes a material which has the same appearance and purpose as paper, is called 'paper': rice paper is an example; it is not paper, but the sliced and flattened pith of a plant that grows in Formosa in Asia; rice paper is used by Chinese artists as a surface for painting on.
Secondary pulp Pulp made from waste paper and not directly from wood.
Security paper Paper which includes identification features such as metallic strips and watermarks to assist in detecting fraud and to prevent counterfeiting.
Service industry That part of industry which provides a service for others and does not manufacture goods, e.g. transport, warehousing.
Sizing This process can either be applied on the surface of the sheet or in the sheet: in the first case starch is applied to the surface to increase its strength and to resist the penetration of oil-based inks (this process is carried out at the size press, which is about two-thirds of the way down the dry end); in the second case chemicals are added to the stock at the pulping stage before the sheet is formed: this is called internal or engine sizing and its purpose is to stop penetration of water-based inks into the sheet.
Solid cases Cases made of several layers of board glued together; they have high puncture resistance and may be water proof.
Stampers The wooden hammers used in a watermill to pulp rags in order to separate the fibres.
Stock The wet pulp before it is fed on to a papermaking machine, or during the papermaking processes before it becomes a sheet of paper; contains around 99% water and 1% fibre.
Tissue paper Soft, lightweight paper used for hygienic and household purposes.
Urban forest A description of towns and cities which are the source of waste paper as one of the raw materials used for papermaking.
Watermark A deliberate design or pattern in paper made by a dandy roll as the stock passes through the wet end processes; a watermark can be seen by holding the paper up to the light.
Wet end The first stages of a papermaking machine before the drying process; at the wet end, stock is fed in and much of the high percentage of water is eliminated by drainage, suction and press rollers, leaving a web of paper which then passes to the drying cylinders.
Wood free Paper made wholly from chemical pulp and free from wood-based impurities, such as lignin, which are present in mechanical pulp.
Wove paper Paper first made as early as 1754 by forming it on a mould with a cover made from woven wire cloth, hence 'wove paper'; the paper has no watermark and an even opacity; it is a type of paper in common use today.


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