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How is paper made?

1.Preparation — New trees, lumberyard scraps and recycled paper products must be prepared before the papermaking process can begin. Fresh wood is debarked and cut into smaller pieces. Recycled paper products are treated to remove inks and other contaminants like staples.

2.Pulping — Next the wood chips pass through a digester (chemical pulping) or a refiner (mechanical pulping). A digester cooks the wood to separate out the fibers needed to make paper. A refiner grinds the wood mechanically to extract the fibers.

3.Screening — The stock fibers are now combined with water, creating a mixture with the consistency of soupy oatmeal. Water is drained away as this mixture travels along a wire mesh belt. The wet fiber mat left behind is then fed into a press.

4.Pressing and Drying — Fibers bond as any the last water is squeezed out of the mat. Steam-heated drums complete the drying process. The fiber mat is now paper.

5.Sizing and Coating — The uncoated paper is next treated with surface sizing to increase its strength and durability. Coating helps paper hold ink and reproduce sharp, clear printed images.

6.Finishing — The paper is cut into smaller rolls or sheets and packed for shipment.