The Alkaline Paper Advocate

Volume 05, Number 5
Nov 1992

Some Permanent Copy Papers

Most people do not think photocopy papers are used for anything that has to be kept for longer than a year or two, but in fact they make up an important part of archives and personal records everywhere. The National Archives already has so many records on photocopy paper (much of it in terrible condition-remember Verifax?) that the Joint Committee on Printing recently had to publish a government specification for long-lived photocopy paper. Now any government agency that wants photocopy paper for anything but throw-away use can refer to that specification.

This list is a first stab at supplying information on permanent copy papers on the market. It is not complete, because the information has to be gathered by telephone, and not all the companies have been contacted yet. ASTM's permanence standard for copy paper, D3458, was used as a guide, and the most relevant or important specs were read to the informant over the telephone. Since ASTM's paper permanence standards have six levels of permanence (three for chemical stability and two for durability, used in combination), they had to be simplified for the purpose. Only the highest level of permanence and the lowest level of durability were referred to. The specs for permanence in D3458 are nearly the same as those in ANSI Z39.481984: pH 7.5-9.5, minimum 2% calcium carbonate filler, and no groundwood or unbleached pulp. A value for tear resistance is given, but it appears to be the same value for all basis weights: 30 grams. Since nearly all alkaline paper today is made with a filler level over 5% or 10%, and groundwood and unbleached pulp are found only in some of the cheapest commodity grades, most alkaline paper will also meet existing permanence standards. Paper that not only meets the standard but also contains 100% cotton fiber would be the ultimate in permanence. It would also cost more.

Recycled paper may not meet the standards if it contains any mechanical or unbleached pulp. This would have to be determined by fiber analysis, kappa number or one of the quantitative analysis methods for lignin, unless the mill can certify the pulp quality. (Sometimes this is hard for them to do with certainty, if the quality of their raw material varies. It depends on the mill, and the product.)

Within a year ANSI, ASTM and ISO may all have published new or revised standards for paper permanence, which can be expected to refer to lignin or "easily oxidized material" rather than to groundwood and unbleached pulp. The new standards will be based on the results of recent research, some of which was done for the committees' use. There is still a great need for research on the permanence of contemporary papers.

The last column, "Classification," is based on the system used in the Competitive Grade Finder, supplemented with information from the mills. It gives an idea of quality and price, based on brightness and opacity. The brands identified as #1 or cotton content are higher quality than #4. Finer distinctions, such as "Premium" and Super Premium," are omitted here. They may be included in later versions of this list.

Buyers who ask for paper by brand name may avoid being charged inflated prices. There have been reports of distributors charging or bidding more for paper described by specifications that included pH. The reason for this is not clear.

Company Brand name Classification
Badger BPM Xerography #4
Badger Copyrite #4
Badger Tanonka. #1
Boise Cascade Aspen Xerographic #4
Boise Cascade Boise Cascade 25% Cotton Laser Bond 25% cotton
Boise Cascade Boise Cascade Laser Paper #4
Boise Cascade Cascade Bond #4
Boise Cascade Cascade MP Colors #4
Boise Cascade Cascade OD/Xerographic #4
Boise Cascade Cascade OM /Bond #4
Boise Cascade Cascade X-9000 #4
Boise Cascade Cascade Xerographic #4
Finch Pruyn Finch Laser Opaque #1
Finch Pruyn Finch Opaque Xerographic #1
Georgia-Pacific Advantage Xerocopy #4
Georgia-Pacific Laser Speed Xerocopy #4
Georgia-Pacific Nekoosa Xerocopy #1
Georgia-Pacific Nekoosa Laser 1000 #1
Georgia-Pacific Nekoosa Xerography 25% (100%?) Cotton #1
Georgia-Pacific Lasersmooth 1000 #1
Hammermill Ham. Bond #1
Hammermill Ham. Copier SV4 #4
Hammermill Ham. Copy Plus #4
Hammermill Ham. Fore DP #4
Hammermill Ham. Laser Print #1
Hammermill Ham. Savings DP #4
Hammermill Ham. Tidal DP #4
Hammermill Ham. Xero/Lasercopy #1


Springhill Laserpoint (Available Dec. 1992)


International Springhill Xerographic Opaque #1
International Springhill Business Paper #4
International Springhill Relay Plus #4
James River Curtis Brightwater (Not a copy paper but will run in copiers and laser printers) #1
James River Graphika! (Not a copy paper but will run in copiers and laser printers) #1
Rolland Newlife Dual Purpose(Recycled; can't guarantee no mechanical fiber) #4
Rolland Newlife Reprographic (Recycled; can't guarantee no mechanical fiber) #4
Rolland Repro Plus #1
Rolland Repro Plus 10 (Has 10% postconsumer waste) Info not available
Rolland Rolox #1
Union Camp Georgetown #4
Union Camp Jamestown #4
Weyerhaeuser Carolina Xerocopy #4
Weyerhaeuser Cougar Opaque Laser Guaranteed #1
Weyerhaeuser First Choice #1
Weyerhaeuser Husky Xerocopy DP #4
Weyerhaeuser Lynx Opaque Laser Guaranteed (A printing paper that runs in laser copiers) #2 O-paque
Weyerhaeuser Saturn One Xerocopy #4
Weyerhaeuser W. Laser Copy #4
Weyerhaeuser W. Office Paper #4
Weyerhaeuser W. Recycled Laser Copy #4
Willamette Penncopy #4
Willamette Willcopy #4

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