All paperboard begins life in an uncoated state. It is created by pulping and then bleaching soft-wood fibres before they are flattened by a roller then dried and smoothed.
What is Paperboard?
Paperboard bears many similarities to ordinary paper. However, it is usually at least 0.3mm thick. Also, it is more rigid while also being easier to fold. It can be either single-play or multi-ply.
Paperboard bears many similarities to ordinary paper. Paperboard is commonly used in packaging due to the fact that it is easy to cut and form while being both lightweight and strong. While some people refer to it as cardboard this is technically incorrect. Like cardboard, it is a heavy pulp-based board but each product has its own unique characteristics.
Uncoated paperboard is noticeably rougher to the touch than its coated counterpart. This is not to say it cannot be smooth as it is popular to produce paperboard that feels as smooth as if it had been coated while retaining the uncoated properties.
When uncoated, paperboard is usually whiter in appearance and will feel bulkier when it is compared to the same GSM coated paperboard. Since it is much more porous, uncoated paperboard is much easier to write and print on since the surface will absorb the ink.
One side-effect of the paper absorbing the ink can be a loss of detail leading to softer images. While some images will appear flat this can actually be beneficial for anything using a muted earthy colour palette. This can be mitigated with digital printing techniques that give the same visual effect as coated paperboard while retaining the uncoated feel.
Paperboard is usually coated with a china clay liquid. This works to fill in all the pours on the fibrous surface giving it a much smoother and more uniform texture. This coating can be applied with matt, silk or glossy finishes.
The coating has two major effects. Firstly, it makes it much harder for the paperboard to absorb ink. Secondly, it increases the paperboard’s lifespan making it much more generally resistant. Since the coating process applies pressure to the paperboard and forces the fibres together, it often feels thinner than its uncoated counterpart.
Since the ink absorption is much more limited, printed images and text tends to be much sharper in its appearance. Due to this, it can be very difficult to tell the difference between litho and digital printing on a coated paperboard surface.
Preston Board & Packaging supply a variety of solid board products to different industries, from bed manufacturing to cable reels, from point of sale advertising to mounting boards, from cake boards to meat boxes. We offer a diverse range of Paperboard, Chipboard and Display Board products in various sizes and thicknesses to suit all applications.