The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 19, Number 5
Nov 1995

Carbonate-Filled Groundwood for Cash-Strapped Publishers

Publishers of professional journals have been hard hit in the past year by sharp increases in the price of paper, as well as by postal rate increases for both domestic and foreign mailings. One of these publishers is the American Chemical Society, which started using alkaline freesheet for its journals and magazines in 1990 at the urging of librarians. In 1989, the Society raised most of its 1990 subscription fees, largely for reasons unrelated to the cost of paper, but about 3% of those increases did go to cover the extra cost of the alkaline paper. The Society began using groundwood papers for some of its publications recently, no doubt as an economy measure. At least some of these groundwood papers are alkaline.

Although alkaline paper does not usually cost more than acidic paper of the same grade or quality, alkaline paper has until recently been available only in the more expensive grades, #1, 2 and 3. The bargain-basement lightweight coated (LWC) groundwood papers (#5 and often #4 as well) have always been acidic.

In the last five years or so, however, alkaline groundwood grades have been appearing on the market. They contain calcium carbonate, which can preserve almost anything. Archaeologists have dug up rare wooden artifacts on the east coast of Canada that were over 1000 years old, preserved only because they were in a midden of discarded sea shells rich in carbonate. One can safely say that carbonate-filled groundwood is better than acidic groundwood, even if it does not meet the requirements of the ANSI/NISO or ISO permanence standards.

Carbonate can not keep groundwood from yellowing, but for some purposes that may not be very important.

Here is a short list of mills that manufacture carbonate-filled groundwood paper suitable for publication of professional journals if the publisher cannot afford to use paper meeting the ANSI/NISO standard. The list is not complete, but it will be upgraded and extended as we find time here at the Abbey Publications office.

Lyons Falls Pulp & Paper Inc. makes a paper they call their Pathfinder grade. The company's sales office is at 77 E. Crystal Lake Ave., Crystal Lake, IL 60014 (tel. 815/ 455-0982, fax 455-0997). An alternative number is the one for Bob O'Donnell in Ohio, 513/755-0338.

Malette Quebec Inc. has two papers: High Bright News, available down to 52g (75 brightness and 89 opacity) and Machine Finish Coated, available down to 56g. They are distributed through Clifford Paper Inc., in Saddle River, NJ, 201/934-5115.

Repap Enterprises, Inc., produces light weight coated paper at its mills in Wisconsin and New Brunswick. All Repap papers are carbonate-filled, and they come in all grades (1 to 5). Talk to Bill Bassette at 414/831-7353.

(From the Oct. 1995 Alkaline Paper Advocate)

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