When grabbing a paper towel or tissue, have you ever noticed that you are able to pull the layers of it apart? Believe it or not, glue plays a major role in holding these thin layers of absorbent paper together.
Paper Towel Manufacturing Process
The first step in the process of making soft tissue paper is creating paper pulp, which can be generated from recycled or new materials. The paper pulp is processed with a Yankee dryer, a drying cylinder heated by steam. This dryer puts the pulp through a process called creping.
The hood above the roller dries the pulp with a forceful heat as the roller turns and a fine blade scrapes the tissue sheet down to the soft, desired thickness. The tissue does not get completely scraped away, because the roller is first sprayed with a protein-based eco-friendly glue (hide glue, animal glue), known in this application as creping glue.
The creping process gives the paper flexibility and creates open areas for water absorption. A micro-fold structure is formed inside the paper layers to create these open areas.
The next step in the paper towel manufacturing process is called embossing.
Embossing implies that the top of towel is modified from the flat working surface to some shaped surface, to ensure that you will find areas which are raised in the flat background. The embossing process develops an empty space between the papers, allowing the paper wipe to hold more water.
Protein Glue for Paper Towel Manufacturing
Since paper towels are used in a variety settings, especially in most homes, it's important that the glue used to manufacture them is safe for handling.
Eco-friendly protein glues, commonly used in the paper towel manufacturing process, are formulated with natural ingredients including: gelatin, glycerin, water, Epsom salt, and corn sugar.
Since these raw materials are naturally recyclable, protein-based adhesives are also completely biodegradable. They will begin breaking down only weeks after being recycled back into the natural environment.
Interested in learning more about the glue used in paper towel manufacturing?
Image Source: Clean It Supply