The Basic Construction of Paper Core
Image courtesy of Marshall Paper Tube Company, Inc
Paper core is the inside material made from wood pulp and other materials that go inside wrapped tubes to provide support and stability to wrapped materials like fabric, paper, or plastic. You can find paper cores on nearly every wrapped object, including toilet paper, paper towels, household tape, paint rollers, and many other common household tools and supplies. Even factories and commercial companies use paper cores in their businesses for a variety of storage and industrial uses. The process of creating paper core is interesting, and most paper core manufactures use a similar process to create their cores. If you ever get the chance to tour a paper-tube manufacturing plant, it makes for an interesting and informative field trip.
First the paper core manufacturers collect wood pulp and previously-recycled products in a large container. The factory breaks the paper pieces down into tiny pulp-like pieces with a large machine. The paper pieces then are mixed with different chemicals to make the paper mushy, smooth, strong, and evenly-colored.
The mushy pulp travels along a conveyor to remove some of the moisture. The pulp sheets are then wrapped into the desired tube shape and size and dried completely. Once the pulp is dry, it maintains the final tube shape. Sometimes the factory will coat the inner pulp core with a thin layer of cardboard or other material for additional strength. The tube is either cut into smaller sizes, or sent as-is to another factory to be used as an internal core for a variety of materials.
For the most part, this creation process takes just a few hours from start to finish. Paper cores are one of the most environmentally friendly packing materials available for use today, and provide both strength and practicality in a variety of industrial and household uses around the world.