History of Papermaking HISTORY OF PAPERMAKING Papermaking goes as far back as 105 A.D. when Ts’ai Lun, an official at the Imperial Court of China, made a sheet of paper using mulberry and other fibres along with fish nets, rags and hemp waste. The first paper was made in 793 A.D. in Baghdad during Harun-ar-Raschid’s rule, with the golden age of Islamic culture that brought papermaking to Europe. By the 14th century paper mills existed all over Europe, particularly in Spain, Italy, France and Germany.
During the 1450’s paper printing(by machines) was introduced and the demand for paper increased all over the world. Papermaking remained unchanged till the 18th century, with linen and cotton rags used for raw materials. This soon presented a shortage, since no more rags and linen were available and it is was apparent that a process for utilizing a more abundant material was required. IMPROVEMENTS IN MATERIALS AND PROCESSES In 1800 a book was published which stated practical methods for manufacturing paper from wood and vegetable pulps. Soon many publishing processes were developed and the paper industry no longer had to depend on rags and linen and this made mass production possible. There were two main kinds of pulping processes used in the 18th century and they were, mechanical or groundwood pulping and chemical pulping. Mechanical pulping contains certain wood components and therefore, it is not suitable for paper in which high whiteness and permanence are required. Mechanical pulp was first made in Germany in the 1840’s, but was not used much until 1870.
Chemical wood pulp is used when high whiteness, strength and permanence are required. VAT SIZING: A sheet of paper composed of cellulosic fibres is water absorbent. Thus, aqueous liquids will penetrate it and spread in it. Impregnation of the paper with various substances that require this wetting and penetration is called vat sizing. During the 18th century paper sheets were impregnated with animal glue which was an expensive and tedious process. In 1807 Moritz Friedrich Illig of Germany discovered paper that could be sized in vats with rosin and alum, but his methods were not commonly used till 1840. INTRODUCTION OF MACHINERY Before the paper machine was invented, paper was made by hand one at a time.
In 1798, a Frenchman named Nicolas-Louis Robert invented a moving screen belt that would receive a continuous flow of stock and give an unbroken sheet of paper to a pair of squeeze rolls. The invention was not really used much, but two Englishmen, the Fourdrinier brothers, improved on Robert’s idea and built a better version in 1807. From these crude beginnings modern papermaking machines were developed. Although modern creations and engineering have formed and ancient craft into a technical industry, the basic procedures remain the same. These procedures are as follows: (A) A suspension of cellulosic fibres is prepared by beating it in water so that the fibres are completely separated and saturated with the water. (B) The paper stock is filtered on a woven screen to form a matted sheet of fibre.
(C) The wet sheet is then pressed and compacted to squeeze out the water. (D) The remaining water is removed by evaporation. (E) The dry paper sheet is then compressed and impregnated if needed.