Paper is made of cellulose, meaning that it is hygroscopic. As such, it is vulnerable to changes in humidity and temperature. As paper attempts to reach equilibrium with its environment, it collects and releases moisture in accordance with the relative humidity of the surrounding air. Due to environmental changes in manufacturing, storage and handling, many properties of the product can be affected such as flatness, dimensions, strength and performance. The humidity level during these processes must be exactly perfect, as too low RH can lead to brittle products prone to breakage and too high RH means a wet or soggy material. For example, low humidity causes paper to shrink, curl and lose stability, which means costly setbacks and re-production. In an ideal state, the environment is such that the paper neither loses or absorbs moisture from the air. However, this ideal state can be almost impossible to achieve without the assistance of a humidification system, which keeps the moisture level in the air at an exact, desirable level. The ideal humidity level for efficient and effective processing is between 50% – 60%, a level that is achievable with the aid of a humidification system.
A humidification system can also help with the loose particles that are created during paper manufacturing and printing. When these particles are left to float in the air, they can be inhaled by employees or clog machinery. This leads to reduced output, at a minimum, but can present issues meeting regulatory standards set by organizations such as OSHA and other agencies across the globe. The water particles created during humidification can help trap these dangerous particles and remove them safely from the air. Thus, a humidification system is beneficial both in terms of improving product quality and maintaining a safe and productive work environment.