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What causes paper to curl?

What causes paper to curl? 06 March 2017

There are several reasons as to why this curling occurs. These include poor paper quality due to manufacturer error, moisture and fuser error. Below are three common causes of paper curling, and solutions to reduce curling in the future.

1. Paper quality

Paper quality is important when printing. Factors which affect quality include: stiffness, smoothness, electrical resistivity, friction coefficient, curl moisture, flatness, millwork, porosity and composition. The usual basic weight for paper is 75 grammes per square metre.

Good manufacturing processes keep this weight 99% of the time, however there is no single set of paper qualities that are optimum for all printing machines. You can find the optimum paper for your printer using the printer manual or visiting the manufacturer website, click here for our recommendations.

2. Storage of paper

Paper should be stored in a cool dry place to avoid it from becoming damp prior to printing. Paper has a tendency to absorb moisture from its environment.

Leaving paper in the tray for long periods of time may also cause it to curl. If it is left in the tray it is advised that the stack is flipped over and turned 180 degrees before printing.

Paper should also be fanned before being put into the tray to separate the sheets of paper. They often get ‘stuck’ together which can cause problems within the printer.

3. Fuser

Curling can be caused by heat. If the fuser was too hot while the paper passed through, then the paper would curl.

If your printer is old, it is advisable that it is serviced. Temperature controls within the fuser rollers degrade over time, so the fuser may be too hot, resulting in the paper curling too much. Cooler temperatures reduce the moisture loss and therefore reduce the curl.

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