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Forest Products Journal Feature Article (PDF)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wood Products
How Wood is Processed
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Paper

Making paper has a lot of steps, but it's not hard to understand!

First, wood is broken into very small pieces (fibers), or pulp the wood. This can be done mechanically (usually with a stone grinder) or chemically.

Second, the fibers are suspended in water to be washed and/or bleached. Washing the fibers gets rid of chemicals that might still be on the wood. Bleaching the fibers makes the paper white. Not all paper is bleached--think of a piece of writing paper and a grocery bag. The writing paper is bleached, but the grocery bag isn't!

Third, The pulp is beaten. Beating the pulp unravels the fibers a little. This makes them stick together better. The pulp is beaten by putting it through two very close metal disks. The disks grind the fibers up.

Fourth, a slurry is made by mixing the wood pulp with water.

Fifth, the slurry is poured onto a screen forming a mat. The water drains away and leaves lots of fibers on the screen!

Sixth, since it's still a little damp, the paper has to be thouroughly dried. This is usually done by rolling the paper on big warm drums.

When the paper is dry, you've got finished paper!

Until the paper is used, it's stored on giant rolls. (They look like huge toilet paper rolls!)



Now let's make some paper ourselves!

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