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Simplified explanation of different coated paper types?

December 24, 2005 10:44 PM EST | Science | Email to Friend

Paper has a lot of properties that should be taken into account to achieve the excellent quality that we seek. First is the contrast. Contrast is the key element between paper and toner. The paler or whiter the paper, the brighter the graphics and text will be. Second element is the texture. The smoother the paper is, the easier toner can transfer to it. Nevertheless, very smooth papers are sometimes difficult to feed.

Coated papers are best suited for high quality printing tasks. It comes in a few varieties. Paper may be gloss coated, dull-coated, machine-coated or cast-coated. To make a gloss-coated sheet, the matte-coated paper is supplementary processed by calendaring, a process where the paper is run through a stack of highly polished steel rollers which condenses and evens out surface inconsistencies. Dull-coated is made when a clay or chemical solution is added. When a clay solution is added to a base stock, the paper is considered matte-coated. Machine-coated is a sheet made smooth by a blade running over it during the manufacturing process. The last, cast-coated, is a high-gloss coating used for the highest quality premium papers on one or both sides.
Printing ink does not soak into a coated sheet as much as it does with an uncoated paper, so coated papers can make halftones and color images look richer. Coated papers are associated with corporate capability brochures and annual reports. Since coated papers come in several grades and prices, you should not have to shy away from using them. Today, more and more coated papers are recycled, which also lowers their costs.

In an article entitled The right paper matters when printing written by Bill Klutz, it further enlightens views on paper. “Coating - Copier paper needs some type of clay or dust coating to help the paper separate and feed it. Also, most people ask the question, Does it matter which side of the paper is copied first? And the answer is, You get the best results when you copy the proper side first. Most copier paper will have some type of indicator as to which side should be copied on. The construction of the copier will determine if the paper has to be placed up or down so the correct side is copied first.”

Coated papers are mostly used in printing process colors. The clay which finishes the coated sheets holds the color pigments on the surface of the sheet and causes the images to look brighter and sharper. They provide a brilliant opaque base for readable, crisp typography. They’re popularly known use is in printing brochures, catalog, flyers, newsletters and the likes.

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