The Alkaline Paper Advocate

Volume 3, Number 2
May 1990


A Testing & Information Service

Integrated Paper Services, Inc., of Appleton, Wisconsin, began operation in early July, 1989, and is offering many of the same services that the Institute of Paper Chemistry (IPC, now IPST) was providing before it moved to Atlanta. In fact, all the staff and founders of IPS came from IPC: H.S. (Doug) Dugal (President), Salman Aziz, Walter Rantanen, Craig Booher and ten or so others.

IPS offers a wide range of services: analytical testing, fiber microscopy, pulping, bleaching, aquatic biology, professional development courses, and information services. Several are relevant to paper permanence. All the usual property tests are done (fold, tear, etc.); fiber stains are available for $10/bottle + shipping (phloroglucinol, Graff's, etc.); analysis for carbohydrates, lignin, ash, etc.; and a variety of information services, including document delivery, literature searching, translations and patent monitoring. For an information packet describing these in more detail, contact Integrated Paper Services, 101 West Edison Ave., Suite 250, PO Box 446, Appleton, WI 54912-0446 (414/749-3C)40).

Ground Broken For IPST Atlanta Facility

The Institute of Paper Science & Technology held its Executives' Conference May 9 and 10 in Atlanta. One of the highlights was the groundbreaking ceremony for its new facility on the Georgia Tech campus. The conference closed with a walking tour of the IPST Industrial Research Facility

Special Postcard Honors Rittenhouse Mill

Postmaster General Anthony M. Frank and the American Paper Institute recently unveiled a new 15 postcard commemorating the 300th anniversary of the U.S. paper industry (shown below)

The inscription says, "American Papermaking, 1690-1990. Rittenhouse paper mill circa 1770." The original watermark is shown, and the text continues: "This watermark appears on the first paper made in the United States on this site in 1690." It will not be reprinted when supplies run out, as they have already begun to do. If readers cannot find them in their local post office, they can write to the APA office, which can supply them at cost while the supply of 125 or so lasts.


British Library Seeks Funds For Paper Strengthening

The New York Times for December 27, on p. D 5, has an article about the long-awaited paper strengthening method developed for the British Library by scientists in Surrey University. It is called graft copolymerization The newspaper article says that "books are placed in a small steel chamber and doused with a chemical mix of monomers (a simple form of a chemical compound). The chambers are then irradiated with gamma rays, which change the monomers into polymers. The plastic-like polymers thoroughly coat the paper the paper fibers, which are shaped like hollow tubes, and strengthen each page as well as protect the book from further acid erosion. "The paper is made up to 10 times stronger. This is obviously a cure for brittle books, of which the British Library has two million. It fattens the books a little, but does not harm inks or bindings.

Now the Library needs money to set up a pilot plant in Great Britain: $1.5 to $3 million. A prospectus for investors should be ready soon. If the number of brittle books in the world is about 200 million, and if they can be treated for $4.50 to $8 a book, investors can expect to gross up to $1,600,000,000. (Of course not all libraries will be able to treat every brittle book they own, and this will cut that gross down considerably; on the other hand, the number of brittle books is bound to grow for the next 50-100 years because of all the acidic books still being produced. -Ed.)

Australian Group Promotes Archival Paper

A coalition called the Archival Paper Action Committee has been working to make permanent paper more widely available in Australia. One big obstacle has been that tariff barriers discourage importation, yet local papermakers make very little of it. Still, they have made some progress in the last two years as reported in the AICCM National Newsletter letter for December. They printed and distributed most of 18,000 leaflets entitled "Paper ... Here Today, Gone Tomorrow," to raise public consciousness of the problem and the existence of a solution; they worked on a national standard for paper permanence; they sent out questionnaires on paper usage, to find out what percent was retained and for long-term use; wrote to legislators, asking cooperation; and published a list of suppliers of permanent papers.

Identifying Alkaline Paper

Verner W. Clapp, in his history of the durable book paper (Scholarly Publishing, 1971), said "The consumer must be induced to demand what the producers know perfectly well how to supply. How? ... 3) a search for a watermark (B pierced by an arrow?) or other means whereby an acceptable paper may be recognized; ... 5) failing the adoption of a watermark, the policing of the paper in new publications through sane book-announcement journal." In Finland , papers conforming to the standard for paper permanence must be watermarked with the name of the mill and date of manufacture, in addition to the number of the paper, at least once in every A4 sheet. Publishers in this country are urged by librarians to state on the back of the title page, if they have used paper conforming to the NISO, standard, a statement to this effect.

So far, however, there is no way to identify alkaline paper in written or graphic form, like the three arrows in a circle are used to identify recycled paper. Two paper mills are trying to work out something, and the U.S. Government Printing Office plans to work out an imprint for the publications they put on alkaline paper. Since the need is general, perhaps all parties would benefit by getting together on this.

Postconsumer Waste Used In More White Papers

The April issue of Pulp & Paper says that more than 30 companies have introduced recycled printing and writing grades. Most of them are based on preconsumer waste, though some mills use 10% to 20% deinked (or even nondeinked) postconsumer waste.

An example is Hammermill's Savings WP 50 DP copier paper, which has been reformulated to Include 10% postconsumer waste. Originally it included 50% preconsumer waste and 50% virgin fiber. This is so it can sell in the states and localities that require 10% postconsumer waste. It will sell at 5-10% above the market price for a comparable paper made with virgin fiber, which is usual for recycled papers.

Wilson Library Bulletin Identifies Acid-Free Reference Books

Starting with the January 1990 issue, the Wilson Library Bulletin is now identifying the books they review as alkaline if they test Positive (purple) with a chlorophenol red pH pen.

Ink Jet Printers & Alkaline Paper

Some aqueous inks used with ink jet printers feather on alkaline papers, according to sources at Hewlett Packard quoted in the June 1989 Datek Imaging Supplies Monthly. It depends on whether they have sufficient surface sizing. George Treier of Xerox is quoted as saying that his company had tested a number of alkaline papers in ink jet applications, and observed that about half of the U.S. products were judged unsatisfactory; by contrast, almost all of the European alkaline sheets tested were judged satisfactory. He attributed the difference to the fact that European mills use mined calcium carbonate, as opposed to precipitated calcium carbonate.

Sizability Improved With Albasize PCC

Pfizer Specialty Chemicals and the Paper Chemicals Group of Hercules Inc. have developed a surface-modified type of precipitated calcium carbonate filler that gives markedly improved HST sizing even at high filler levels, apparently without any tradeoffs in opacity, retention, filler distribution, drainage or coefficient of friction of the paper surface., The press release says, "Often, papermakers try to improve dimensional stability of their products by increasing the use of sizing materials. This usage can result in a slippery paper surface. Albasize can reduce the use of these agents....

General Chemical Now Makes Precipitated CaCO3

Now there are four companies that can provide precipitated calcium carbonate: Pfizer, GK Carbonate, Mississippi Lime, and General Chemical. General Chemical, the most recent to enter this market, makes both PCC and sodium hydroxide (caustic soda, the primary cooking chemical in kraft pulping) out of lime and soda ash. (Pfizer makes PCC from quicklime water and CO2).

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