Paper industry: evolution and new technologies

Paper industry: evolution and new technologies

The paper industry includes everything related to the manufacturing sector of paper mills, which are responsible for the production of paper and cardboard.

The production activities that fall within this fascinating world are manifold: from packaging to the production of sanitary paper, from the production of industrial technical papers to that of graphic papers.

Paper mills are the driving force behind the paper industry: in fact, all the phases of preparation of the sheet take place within them, from the making of the mixture to its subsequent manufacture.

We have already talked about the history of paper but how has that of the supply chain evolved over time?

Let’s find it out together.

Industrial paper production: the Dutch cylinder

The monopoly of the Marche paper makers lasted until the mid-fourteenth century, until France and Germany also began to invest heavily in the paper industry.

The main innovation, however, was made by the Dutch paper makers who, almost a century later, introduced the so-called Dutch cylinder, capable of completely turning the fate of the supply chain.

The advantages brought by this machine were immense: the oval tank designed by the Dutch, in fact, allowed the fibers to be frayed and refined at the same time, greatly reducing the time required for making the material.

Furthermore, the final color of the paper suddenly became much whiter and more homogeneous, as the material was no longer squeezed but cut directly.

Paper industry: the era of new technologies

The conception of the Dutch cylinder stimulated the introduction of increasingly advanced techniques, dedicated to improving the processing of the material.

John Barskerville, a well-known British typographer and entrepreneur, was able to develop a cutting-edge technique capable of limiting – if not completely eliminating – the lines of the paper.

Barskerville’s wove paper allowed the English paper industry to monopolize the sector for nearly 30 years, placing it clearly above all other European powers.
From then on, the discoveries followed one another incessantly.

The Dutch chemist Scheele soon realized that chlorine was able to whiten paper, starting to offer it to the paper mills of the time.

What he did not know, however, was that the oxidation of chlorine also brings significant advantages to the strength of the paper, which then suddenly became much more durable.

The paper industry thus became an immense source of income for the entire European territory.

New technologies began to overlap each other, the desire to reach before other new goals began to flare up and the desire to excel favored the evolution of ever new and functional discoveries.

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