How is paper made?
Although most people have dealt with paper from an early age, few know how it is made. At school, we were taught that it is made from wood, with the result that it is a good idea to use recycled paper for less important tasks. How exactly is paper produced?
The ingredients required for production
As already mentioned, wood is needed to make paper. The paper mill treats it chemically to obtain pulp. Mechanical treatment in turn produces wood pulp. These two raw materials are the basic ingredients for paper production worldwide. Water, preferably soft, high-purity water, is also needed to carry out the process. Factories also use various fillers, sealers, coagulants, pigments and waterproofing agents to give the paper certain properties.
The production process
The first stage of production is pulp preparation. This involves grinding, cutting and making it smooth. The next stage is the so-called 'sizing' of the paper, whereby the desired resistance of the paper to subsequent spills can be achieved. Various fillers and pigments are then added to the paper to give the paper further characteristics: whiteness, smoothness, softness, etc. In the next production step, the paper can be coloured. The pulp is diluted and finally cleaned. The next step is to fluff up the paper. The pulp is placed on a sieve and dehydrated, then subjected to a special roller. Water is squeezed out of the paper again. The resulting paper web is transferred to cylinders, where it is heated and dried accordingly. The final step is to cool and roll it. The resulting paper can be further processed.
Paper products and processed paper goods
Paper products are those in the form of a web or sheet made from vegetable fibres (sometimes also mineral, synthetic or animal fibres). Processed paper goods, on the other hand, are paper products that have undergone further chemical refinement, e.g. gluing, punching, stitching, etc.