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Bond paper is a type of paper mainly used in offices and for professional projects. The paper is strong and can hold up to being passed around between several people. The paper is opaque and can be used in printers and as a writing material. Bond paper is also free from fuzz like other paper might be subject to. This type of paper is also resistant to tearing and has a good finish, making it more professional. Letterheads are typically printed on a bond paper that is between 20 and 24 pounds. Bond paper comes in two forms: rag content pulp and chemical wood pulp.
Rag Content Pulp
While most paper is made out of wood, rag content pulp is made from cotton fibers. These fibers are the result of clippings and scraps from raw cotton and come from textile factories and cotton linters. Rag content can be anywhere from 25 to 100 percent. If the rag content is less than 100 percent, wood fibers are used for filler.
Chemical Wood Pulp
Chemical wood pulp is what most paper is made out of. Composed of both coniferous and deciduous trees, the wood pulp goes through a chemical process to remove the undesired materials. The process happens when the wood is cooked in a solution composed of alkaline sodium sulfide. A sodium sulfite solution may also be used when cooking the wood down. Undesirable materials like lignin dissolve as the cellulose fibers become suspended in the solution. The cellulose is then washed and either bleached or unbleached to be used in paper.
Size and Weight
Bond paper, whether chemical or rag content is made in a standard size of 17 by 22 inches. The standard weight of bond is 20 pounds, meaning a 500-sheet ream of bond paper sized at 17 by 22 inches weighs 20 pounds. But before the paper is sold to consumers, it must be cut to standard letter size of 8.5 by 11 inches. When the paper is cut, each 500-sheet ream of paper weighs five pounds.
Christina Martinez has been writing professionally since 2007. She's been published in the California State University at Fullerton newspaper, "The Daily Titan." Her writing has also appeared in "Orange County's Best" magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and print journalism from California State University.