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H.F. Rance. Introduction to symposium. In The Formation and Structure of Paper, Trans. of the IInd Fund. Res. Symp. Oxford, 1961, (F. Bolam, ed.), pp 1–11, FRC, Manchester, 2018.


Despite considerable advance during the last twenty years in the technology of paper and papermaking, there has been scarcely any explicit consideration of the subject that underlies all of our knowledge and all of our problems in these fields the structure of paper. A brief survey of papermaking literature brings home forcibly our state of ignorance . None of the classic reference or textbooks includes even a reference to structure in its contents list or index. Even the few papers explicitly referring in their titles to structural considerations are indexed under alternative headings . An enquirer from another industry or technology might be forgiven for inferring that paper is a structureless body defying the normal laws of physical analysis and description!

This is an exaggeration, of course, for ideas about structure are implicit in a wide range of theories, discussions and practical operations on paper and papermaking, but the absence of explicit reference to structure does clearly indicate the superficial and empirical nature of our current knowledge and of the technology of paper and papermaking. At the same time, there are now many indications of a revolutionary change in this situation.

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