Acclimating Your Paper for the Pressroom

acclimating paper

Paper fresh off the truck needs time to acclimate.

Did you know that paper is typically derived from cellulose pulp and the fibrous material from wood and grasses? In a way, paper is like a living, breathing thing. And like many living things, paper needs time to adjust to the changing circumstances of its environment. You will get the best results from your paper if you give it time to acclimate to ideal pressroom conditions. So how can you properly acclimate your paper for your pressroom? Here’s a quick guide.

Dealing with Moisture

Temperature and humidity are the biggest issues when it comes to acclimating paper to your pressroom. Depending on its surroundings, paper will absorb and lose moisture. Paper that’s in transit to your pressroom is sometimes exposed to high humidity and extreme temperatures, which can result in converting problems. Generally speaking, you want your paper to be acclimated to a pressroom of 45-55% relative humidity and 68-77° Fahrenheit.

Acclimating Conditions

Paper acclimation is not an instant process. When your paper is fresh off the truck it needs time to adjust to its new environment. Paper should be given at least 24-48 hours to acclimate before being used in production. The exact timing is a function of the weight of the paper and the relative temperature/humidity difference. Heavier skids and paper with greater temperature differences will require more time to acclimate to your pressroom. Proper acclimation sometimes takes as long as 100 hours. When it comes to important projects, it’s better to be on the safe side. Paper that has been exposed to large differences in temperature and humidity will frequently curl, tighten or develop waviness around edges.

Good Practices

Always store your paper somewhere dry and away from heaters. Avoid cold and damp concrete walls or wind. Practice first-in-first out strategy so that you’re always using older, better acclimated inventory first. Keep product in its original packaging until it’s ready for use, and only unwrap skids and rolls before printing and converting. Make sure to rewrap unused stock. Following good paper acclimation practices will help you avoid some of the converting headaches that can result from fluctuating humidity and temperature.

Atlantic Graphic Systems Is Your Premier Printing and Binding Equipment Supplier

Established in 1976, Atlantic Graphic Systems has been a premier equipment sales and service provider for forty years. The technology of printing has been integral to the communication of ideas and information for hundreds of years. We’re proud to work in this historic and dynamic field. If you’d like to order equipment or services, call us at 410-290-8200 or visit our Contact Page. Want to keep up with the latest news and information? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Linkedin!  1


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Atlantic Graphic System Inc
9687 Gerwig Ln # B Columbia, MD 21046
Phone: (410) 290-8200