Industry news

Raw Materials of Paper Making

Probably half of the fiber used for paper today comes from wood that has been purposely harvested. The remaining material comes from wood fiber from sawmills, recycled newspaper, some vegetable matter, and recycled cloth. Coniferous trees, such as spruce and fir, used to be preferred for papermaking because the cellulose fibers in the pulp of these species are longer, therefore making for stronger paper. These trees are called "softwood" by the paper industry. Deciduous trees (leafy trees such as poplar and elm) are called "hardwood." Because of increasing demand for paper, and improvements in pulp processing technology, almost any species of tree can now be harvested for paper.

Some plants other than trees are suitable for paper-making. In areas without significant forests, bamboo has been used for paper pulp, as has straw and sugarcane. Flax,

Most paper is made by a mechanical or chemical process.

hemp, and jute fibers are commonly used for textiles and rope making, but they can also be used for paper. Some high-grade cigarette paper is made from flax.

Cotton and linen rags are used in fine-grade papers such as letterhead and resume paper, and for bank notes and security certificates. The rags are usually cuttings and waste from textile and garment mills. The rags must be cut and cleaned, boiled, and beaten before they can be used by the paper mill.

Other materials used in paper manufacture include bleaches and dyes, fillers such as chalk, clay, or titanium oxide, and sizings such as rosin, gum, and starch.

 

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