Printing and storage environment

Ideally, the printing and media-storage environment should be at or near room temperature, and not too dry or too humid. Remember that paper is hygroscopic; it absorbs and loses moisture rapidly.

Heat causes the moisture in paper to evaporate, while cold causes it to condense on the sheets. Heating systems and air conditioners remove most of the humidity from a room. As paper is opened and used, it loses moisture, causing streaks and smudging. Humid weather or water coolers can cause the humidity to increase in a room. As paper is opened and used it absorbs any excess moisture, causing light print and dropouts. Also, as paper loses and gains moisture it can distort. This issue can cause jams.

As a result, paper storage and handling are as important as the paper-making process itself. Paper storage environmental conditions directly affect the feed operation and print quality.

Care should be taken not to purchase more paper than can be easily used in a short time (about three months). Paper stored for long periods can experience heat and moisture extremes, which can cause damage. Planning is important to prevent damage to a large supply of paper.

Unopened paper in sealed reams can remain stable for several months before use. Opened packages of paper have more potential for environmental damage, especially if they are not wrapped with a moisture-proof barrier.

The media-storage environment should be properly maintained to ensure optimum printer performance. The recommended condition is 20° to 24°C (68° to 75°F), with a relative humidity of 45% to 55%. The following guidelines should be helpful when evaluating the paper's storage environment:

• Print media should be stored at or near room temperature.

• The air should not be too dry or too humid (to moderate the hygroscopic properties of paper).

• The best way to store an opened ream of paper is to rewrap it tightly in its moisture-proof wrapping. If the printer environment is subject to extremes, unwrap only the amount of paper to be used during the day's operation to prevent unwanted moisture changes.

• Avoid storing paper and print media near heating and air conditioning vents or near windows and doors that are frequently open.

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