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J Microsc. 2008 Nov;232(2):212-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2818.2008.02092.x.

New advances in the 3D characterization of mineral coating layers on paper.

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  • 1Paper and Fibre Research Institute (PFI), Trondheim, Norway.


The surface characteristics of a large set of commercial lightweight coated paper grades are explored. The quantification of the 3D structure is revealed by atomic force microscopy, laser profilometry and X-ray microtomography. This comprehensive study demonstrates the suitability of different and modern methods for assessing critical coating layer properties, thus identifying the right tools for specific structural analyses. Based on the assessment of the top and bottom surfaces of 25 commercial lightweight coated samples, three main conclusions can be drawn: (1) the facet orientation polar angle is a function of roughness, (2) skewness did not describe the surface details affecting the gloss of the commercial lightweight coated samples assessed in this study and (3) surface roughness at wavelengths below approximately 1.0 microm does not affect the paper gloss significantly. This is important knowledge for the understanding of lightweight coated paper surface structure and its properties.

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