Paper Advocate

Volume 9, Number 4
Dec 1996

Buffered Groundwood
(Carbonate-Filled High-Yield Papers)

by Ellen McCrady

In October 1995, on p. 47 of this newsletter, I urged publishers not to go back to using acidic paper for their professional journals or other publications, if price was an issue, because acidic paper has such a short life, compared to alkaline paper.

As a compromise between high-quality alkaline paper that meets permanence standards, and the cheaper acidic paper with a high level of lignin that some publishers chose when paper prices went up, I recommended using buffered groundwood papers, which will last much longer and certainly cost less than acidic freesheet.

The research so far shows that carbonate can prevent or greatly retard the embrittlement of high-yield paper. It also slows the rate at which this kind of paper turns yellow, but can not entirely prevent yellowing. Another drawback, not a serious one, is that the alkaline reserve can be used up, if the paper is exposed to polluted air for many years. Research demonstrating this effect under accelerated aging conditions was reported in 1988 by the CRCDG, a conservation research arm of the French government. More recently, another lab has discovered that the alkaline reserve becomes ineffective when it is only half used up.

Here is a list of carbonate-filled high-yield papers which are probably suitable for journals and magazines. All of them except those made by Glatfelter are available only in rolls for web-fed presses. They are listed by the company that makes them. Larger orders can be placed at the mill, but small and medium-size purchases usually have to be made through a paper distributor or a company sales office; call the number listed and ask where and how to purchase the papers listed. Call the Abbey Publications office (512/929-3992) if there are any problems finding the right telephone number.

Lyons Falls, Malette Quebec and Repap papers were recommended in the original article. Six more companies have been added to the list.

Blandin Paper Co., in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, makes 1450 tons per day (tpd) of ultra lightweight (ULWC) and light- weight coated (LWC) groundwood printing papers. Call 218/327-6200 (fax 327-6212).

Boise Cascade Corp. The BC mill in Rumford, Maine, makes a variety of acid and neutral papers, 1505 tpd. Two of their brands of high-yield paper (which may be made either acid or neutral) are PTO (a #5 commodity grade, 38 to 50 lb., for magazine type publishing), and DPO (Dependoweb, a #4 grade, 38-50 lb.). Call 207/364-4521 (fax 369-2531).

P.H. Glatfelter Co. They reported that they do have some papers that are alkaline, buffered and high in lignin (Editor's and Ecolocote), but these papers are not inexpensive, because they are made with recycled fiber. Call 717/225-4711 (fax 225-6834).

International Paper Co. Their Androscoggin Mill in Jay, Maine, makes a variety of printing and writing papers, among them groundwood printing papers. Call 207/897-3432.

Lyons Falls Pulp & Paper Inc., has its mill at Lyons Falls, NY, and its sales office in Crystal Lake, IL (815/455-0982, fax 455-0997). They use sulphite pulp and make about 10 grades of carbonate-filled high-yield paper, all with the name "Pathfinder," most of which are grade 4.

Malette Inc., in Ontario, makes machine-finish gloss coated paper, 76-79 brightness, 36-1/2 to 54 lb., under two brand names: Progloss and Pro-2000. Pro-2000 is at the high end of that brightness range. They also sell a 75 brightness groundwood specialty grade called Protext 75, in 35-48 lb. The sales office is in Saddle River, NJ, 201/934-5115. All Malette papers are totally chlorine-free.

Manistique Papers Inc., in Michigan, makes groundwood specialties and newsprint grades, some of which may be suitable for journals and magazines. They use a lot of recycled pulp. Call 906/341-2175 and ask for sales.

Mead Corp. The Publishing Paper Division in Escanaba, Michigan, makes a variety of alkaline coated book and publication papers, both free and using refiner mechanical pulp, 1550 tons daily. Call 800/338-9853 for inside sales.

Repap Wisconsin in Kimberly, and Repap New Brunswick, Inc., make 31 lightweight coated papers. All their grades are carbonate-filled. They make grades 1 to 5. Call 800/558-3331 for customer service.

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