Super Staples to the Rescue

The properties of recycled paper is forcing staple manufacturers to rethink the archaic staple design.

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The rise in the percentage of recycled material in paper is blamed for the recent move to redesign the common staple to create ‘Super-Staples’. More recycled material amounts in a paper that it tougher than pure pulp, says Roger Tasco, leading Technical Expert at Sawmill Papers in Hampshire, England.

“Recycled paper has come a long way: the microscopic inclusions are smaller and fewer than they used to be. You can’t really feel the difference with your hand, but to a staple it’s like passing through smooth peanut butter versus crunchy. It used to be that you could safely staple ten pages with a number 56, now that number has dropped to nine or even eight. This means more jams, more wasted staples and paper.”

Average Penetration of #56 Staple versus the Reported Content of Recycled Material
Average Penetration of #56 Staple versus the Reported Content of Recycled Material

Rather than forcing stationery users to upgrade their staplers to hold larger, stronger staples, Roger is behind a nationwide move compelling staple manufacturers to change the design of staples.

“We’ve found that small alterations in the manufacturing process, say by using a few microns more steel per unit and honing the tips to a razor-sharp point brings the staples back into line with their expected capabilities. And, of course, non-recycled paper doesn’t stand a chance!”

But Roger is not content to stop there. He proposes that the archaic design of staples can be vastly improved, with ideas including angled barbs, fluted and channeled shafts, a beveled top edges.

Regarding his thoughts on these new Super-Staples’ he says, “They (Super-Staples) would be good for the stationery industry as a whole, only these puppies will have to come with a safety warning. They’ll be downright deadly.”

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