Supercalendered Paper

Supercalendering is part of the papermaking process

In paper manufacturing, calendering is the process of smoothing the surface of the paper by pressing it between hard pressure cylinders or rollers—the calenders—at the end of the papermaking process. Calendering is a standard part of the papermaking process and occurs in-line as the paper is being manufactured. It is usually the last step of the process before the paper is cut to standard sizes. 

When an additional set of off-line calenders called supercalenders are used after the initial papermaking process but before the paper is trimmed to size, they produce an even smoother and glossier paper called supercalendered paper or SC paper.

The supercalender consists of several cylinders alternating between metal and elastic surfaces. The supercalender runs at high speed and applies pressure, heat and friction to glaze both surfaces of the paper, making them smooth and glossy.

Supercalendered uncoated papers, which have a high gloss due to the supercalendering process, are exceptionally smooth and provide a high-quality surface for printing color images and fine-line images. However, coated papers usually provide a superior surface.

Uses for Supercalendered Paper

Supercalendered paper is typically used for magazines. It is the most economical paper that meets the demanding requirements of magazines. There are also subgrades of supercalendered papers. These are suitable for catalogs, special interest magazines and advertising material.

Downside of Supercalendering

The glazing that occurs during supercalendering makes the paper thinner and more translucent.

It also reduces stiffness, which makes the paper less suitable for some purposes.