Let’s start at the very beginning…
How do you get that perfect paper you are looking for?
It all starts with the tree it is made from, and which pulping process is used.
Hardwood or Softwood?
Wood pulp made from hardwood and softwood trees has different attributes. In Europe, hardwoods account for roughly 30%, and softwoods 70% of wood consumption.
Hardwood and softwood fibres can be mixed into a single paper, to achieve a desired combination of strength, whiteness, writing surface or other required characteristics.
Environmental factors – such as climate, surroundings, etc also create differences on within hardwood and softwoods. There are not only differences in fibre properties between different trees, species and differences depending on the environment – there can also be variations within the same tree.
The aim of the pulping process is to liberate the fibres from the wood matrix. This can mainly be done in two ways, either mechanically or chemically (or thermo- mechanically).
Chemical pulp is stronger and purer that mechanical pulp (thermo mechanical is in between).
Chemical pulp fibres are more flexible compared to mechanical pulp fibres. The chemical fibres will conform to each other in a better way than mechanical pulp fibres when the paper is formed and therefore the chemical pulp offers good strength properties. A modern chemical pulp mill does not require any external power; but only about 50 % of the wood becomes pulp.
The mechanical process
This process demands a lot of electric power, but on the other hand it makes use of almost 100% of the raw material, with very little waste. In the mechanical process, the lignin is not separated from the pulp which causes papers to go yellow as it gets old. Mechanical pulps are used for products that require less strength, such as newsprint. PG Know Paper
Depending on what paper or board product you are looking for, there are often a mixture of pulp and pulping methods needed to achieve the desired characteristics. Why not reach out to PG Paper today, to discuss your project needs – we are always interested to hear about our customers projects, and to offer our advice and recommendation on the best material for the job. Your PG sales representative will be happy to assist, or if you are getting in touch for the first time, send us an email to [email protected].