Humidity vs. Paper

The environment within a paper production facility is the primary factor that affects Paper’s moisture content. Industry professionals debate the ideal relative humidity level for a production facility because the perfect level depends on a facility’s geographic location and the season. 

Since papermakers can’t produce Paper with relative humidity levels that function well in all environments, they must make a paper that accommodates most settings. 

The Effects of Dry Conditions on Paper Production

Low relative humidity levels in paper mills can cause paper fibers to quickly lose moisture and curl, shrink, and lose dimensional stability.

The Effects of Too Much Humidity on Paper Production

When relative humidity levels exceed 65 percent, the cellulose fibers in the Paper draw in moisture in as little as 30 seconds. As a result, the fibers increase in size and may make sheets of paper limp or their edges appear wavy.

Understanding how Paper interacts with its environment is critical to ensuring its appearance and performance. Because of atmospheric changes throughout the seasons, HVAC units often do not control conditions appropriately or uniformly. 

Hence the puzzle of operating your facility within a very narrow range of humidity levels for optimal Paper flowing through your printing plant.  

To top it off, we have global warming, where temperatures fluctuate outside of regional norms.

Most good printers are keeping a solid eye on the humidity in their facilities and making adjustments daily if not hourly to compensate accordingly.

Humidity vs. Paper is still a battle for printers large and small.