Day 107: Fibermark & Paper Saturation

Two of my good friends, Roger and Jason, work at Fibermark, and were able to show me a little bit of what goes on in the labs. I never thought I’d see myself in a lab coat (I don’t think anyone would want me to hold that kind of power:), but today I not only donned a lab coat, but I also got to wear safety goggle and gloves! Everyone’s true favorite thing to do! I mean, who doesn’t love looking at the world through smudgy plastic and trying to find their fingers, let alone use them, in a sea of latex? Sign me up!

Fibermark is a sonderful company and makes many different kinds of fiber-based materials to support  industries and consumers world-wide. (Yes, I got that off of their website, and if you want to learn even more about Fibermark, here’s a link!)

One of the exciting tasks that Jason gets to do is paper saturation. It is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It’s the process of saturating paper with a “paint” of some sort. This gives it strength and holds the paper together, it’s like rubber, making it strong. (It also adds color).

Unfortunately I only got to saturate with a dull grey color. They clearly weren’t thinking correctly when they gave me, a happy, loves color kind-of-person, a dull grey. Buuut, beggars  can’t be choosers, so I didn’t mention it. (But I’m mentioning it now! Mark this down for next time, boys!)

So the process basically looks like this: Get your paper. Get your paint. Put the paper in the paint. (This was my favorite part, because it soaked it up in a way I wasn’t expecting, like it just traveled over the paper!) Put the paper on the roll-y thing. Crank the roll-y thing so the paper gets squeezed to death. Clip the paper up in the oven so it can dry.

I kind of feel like I should not have enjoyed this whole process (including learning about all of Fibermark’s products, and loving them!), because it’s killing the trees! But, I mean, if they’re already dead, then we should at least make them look good, right!

Tomorrow I’m getting a professional head, neck and shoulder massage! I think.

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