Tailored printing paper significantly reduces production costs

The print quality and density of paper surface treated with polymers are better than those of non-treated paper.

VTT and a number of universities have successfully been developing a method that helps to adjust future printing paper suitable for different printing inks and methods through a surface treatment. This revolutionary way of thinking about the manufacture of paper is based on polymer treatment, which makes it easier to create the desired print quality on the base paper, reducing the total costs and improving recycling qualities. In addition, the method creates the possibility of making both surfaces of printing paper identical in quality.

The results of the development work led by VTT bring new flexibility to the manufacture of printing paper. Print quality of the paper surface can be optimised using a light natural polymer treatment (0,2 g/m2).

The new paper surface treatment reduces the quality requirements for raw fibre materials and the base paper. This increases the possibility of reducing the costs arising from paper manufacturing. The future needs for different raw materials and paper manufacturing concepts will also be reduced significantly.

The method enables identical printing quality on both sides of paper using different polymer volumes – this will remove the current problem of unequal-sidedness. In addition, the recycling qualities of the paper will be improved due to the polymers because they can be used to replace the volume of pigments (i.e. stone-based powder) on printing paper.

The penetration and spreading of printing ink and the final printing quality can be influenced through the chemical interaction of the developed polymers, the printing surface and the printing ink. Currently, the weight and printing qualities of the paper surface are influenced by adjusting the porosity of the base paper, particularly through the volume and type of powder-like pigment.

The research and development project led by VTT responds to the objective of paper manufacturers to reduce the total paper coating expenses. The project involved the Helsinki University of Technology and the University of Jyväskylä, and was funded by Tekes, VTT and its business partners. The project has already resulted in further research – still led by VTT.


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