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TAPPI T 220 Handsheet testing






Physical testing of pulp handsheets

Scope and Significance

TAPPI T 220 Handsheet testing describes the testing of pulp handsheets, prepared in accordance with TAPPI T 205 “Forming Handsheets for Physical Tests of Pulp,” for their strength and other physical properties as well as their lightscattering coefficient. Information derived from handsheet testing is a measure of the potential contribution of the pulp to the strength of the finished paper product.


The measurements of handsheet properties to be described are as follows: mass per unit area (grammage), thickness, specific volume, apparent density, opacity, scattering coefficient, tensile strength, stretch, tensile energy absorption, bursting strength, tearing resistance, and MIT folding endurance. Five sheets are generally enough for routine control work in a mill on a specified pulp. Ten sheets should be used wherever possible and when testing mechanical pulp in order to provide enough paper to make four tears of ten strips each. This makes it possible to use five sheets for tearing resistance and five other sheets for all other strength tests. Do not change the sample size as this will change the amount of pulp in the beater and, therefore, change the beating time. Results are reported in SI units and strength indexes are calculated on conditioned weight.


To perform adequate testing ten TAPPI handsheets are generally required, although five handsheets may be acceptable for routine test purposes. For IPS to make the necessary number of handsheets, a minimum of 30 grams of dry pulp is requested.

Please note:

SGS-IPS cannot sell or otherwise provide standards, specifications, or test procedures to third parties.