20/03/2018 - Today under the microscope: Paper

Small environment, great pictures: Our fascinating micro-world #5

The flat material paper is fascinatingly versatile: packaging, art paper, toilet paper, and special papers for filters, indicators, furniture & PCs.

Depending on the application, different paper properties and paper structures are required. Surface finish, roughness, fiber length and fiber width, paper thickness, cavities are important characteristics that can be characterized microscopically very well.

A few interesting key data on German paper production

Germany is the world's fourth largest paper producer
Annual production 2017: ~23 million tonnes (*)
In detail:
12 million tons for packaging (*)
8 million tons for graphic papers.
1.5 million tons for sanitary paper (*)
1.5 million tons for technical papers (*)

- Raw material consumption 2017
Fibres ~6 million tonnes (*)
Waste paper ~17 million tons (*)
Germany exports 45% of its production
(*)Source: "VDP Statistics


Different types of paper under the light microscope (LM) & scanning electron microscope (SEM) 1) Printed paper - SEM, 2) Printed paper, LM, 3) Filter paper - SEM, 4) Surface profile of ink droplets on paper - SEM, 5) Eco paper - SEM, 6) Surface profile of printed paper - SEM. © strucTEM 2018

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