Glassine Paper: Application and Characteristics

Updated: Mar 22


embossed glassine paper

Table of Contents


If you work in the packaging industry, glassine paper is one of the best materials to help you stand out and get the best results with your items. It is different from other paper types and serves unique purposes, making it a highly functional material for the packaging industry.


This article will discuss what the glassine paper is, highlight its exceptional characteristics, and discuss the several purposes it serves.

Let's begin.


What is glassine paper, and how is it produced?

glassine paper

Source: canson


Glassine paper is made from glassine, a pulp-based material that is transparent and allows what's behind or inside the paper to be seen.


It is smooth, glossy, and translucent. It achieves these characteristics through supercalendering, the final step of the paper-making process involving the smoothening of the paper's surface by pressing it between hard pressure cylinders and rollers (also known as Calendars).


Supercalender which used to manufacture glassine paper
Supercalender

Source: voith


Supercalender is a vertical alternating stack of hard polished steel and soft cotton. These supercalendering machines are made to apply pressure, friction, and heat at optimal speed in vertical and alternating stacks.


As the calendars spin, the soft rolls try to maintain their original position and polish the papers that pass through the nips, generating polished surfaces at both ends of the paper.


It then breaks the capillaries of the paper fibers, leading to low porosity and enhancing the density to about 50-90 grams, making the glassine paper highly resistant to grease, air, and moisture.

After going through the supercalendering machine, the glassine paper is rolled and sheeted for different purposes.


Although glassine paper is often translucent, its color can be changed during the pulping process by adding dyes.


It can also be made opaque when additives like clay, titanium dioxide, or calcium carbonate are included, reducing the light that passes through it.


The supercalendering machine's quality plays a huge role in how dense, glossy, and translucent the glassine paper turns out to be.

Additionally, its weight, thickness, and strength also depend on the adjustments made on the supercalendering machine during the manufacturing process.


Uses of glassine paper

Glassine paper offers an array of applications. Reports from Future Market Insights indicate that the global glassine paper market will grow exponentially in the coming years. Let's explore some of them below:


1.Food

food put on glassine paper directly

Source: zoranm


Generally, glassine paper is the most used material for food packaging. Serve as release liners on baking trays or containers and paper bags for bakery foods. Glassine paper is also used to wrap cheese, meat, and other fries at sale points and as barriers to prevent hand-to-food contact while packaging or serving customers.



2.Bookbinding and protection

bookbinding with glassine paper

Source: Leonidas Santana


Glassine paper is useful in the paper industry as an interleaf to prevent illustrations from contacting facing pages. It can also serve as protection from exposure and spills.

Furthermore, stamp hinges can be produced from glassine paper; bookbinders use glassine paper to bind books, and glassine envelopes function as storage for stamps.



3.Paintings and photographs

painting wrapped with glassine paper

Source: Caroline Burdett


Data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) shows that paintings wrapped with glassine paper have more color and texture. It also safeguards photographs and traditional photo albums by serving as an interleaf. In addition, it protects stored acrylic painting surfaces that need to be transported.



4. Essential role in chocolate packaging


glassine paper is the best material of candy pads

Source: Michael Package


Top-quality candy pads are made of glassine paper. Candy pads effectively layering chocolates, maintain their taste, and prevent them from breaking or smearing when moved from place to place.


Candy pads manufactured from glassine paper are thicker, have higher density, and are highly resistant to moisture and grease. It is great for bonding when manufactured with food-grade adhesive. That goes a long way in ensuring food safety because chocolates are in perfect condition regardless of the distance.


Glassine paper is suitable for logo printing because it is smooth and glossy. You can print your logo on your candy pads and customize your designs in many different ways. Remember to choose food-grade ink when printing on your food packaging.



What makes glassine paper different from other types of paper?


There are specific qualities that make glassine paper unique from other paper types. Below are some of its distinguishing characteristics:


1. Moisture and Grease resistant

Regular paper possesses hygroexpansivity and hygroscopicity qualities, allowing it to take in water vapor from the air and expand or shrink based on the humidity of the environment.

However, glassine paper is less susceptible to these conditions because of the supercalendering process it undergoes.


2. Toothless

A paper's “tooth” shows how rough or abrasive its surfaces are. Therefore, the higher a paper's tooth, the more abrasive it is.

Unlike other paper types, glassine paper possesses a toothless feature that makes it smooth and suitable to protect delicate items.


3. Translucent

Glassine paper offers a glass-like quality with its translucent feature, making it unique from other paper types. When it is in translucent form, items inside or on the other end of the paper can be seen, making it an attractive choice for packaging items.


4. Higher density

Glassine paper comes with a noticeably higher density than its counterparts. This unique quality gives it higher strength and folding endurance than other materials. For example, glassine paper has about 40-90 grams which is about twice the higher density of other types of paper.


5. Durable

Often, durability is not a feature associated with paper-like substances, but glassine paper is an exception.

Due to its higher density, it is stronger and more durable than regular paper, making it a great option to keep items safe for a more extended period.


6.It doesn't shed

Regular paper types may shed, but glassine paper doesn't. It comes with a smooth and glossy surface, so it is unlikely to shed when it is in contact with other items or when rubbed against the wall or other surfaces.


7. Static-free

While other paper types may be static, leave glue residue, stick together or stick on surfaces, the glassine paper is static-free, so they don't cling to products and surfaces.


8. Eco-friendly

The glassine paper is made from wood pulp, a sustainable material that is biodegradable and recyclable, making it healthy and safe for users and the environment.


Conclusion


Glassine paper is a particular paper type that offers unique advantages and uses. The benefits of that paper cut across many sectors and range from providing long-lasting protection to items to delivering an excellent display, among other features.


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