Currency Paper Production Process

via GAO Report 1998. (Remember, this is as of 1998 and thus way out of date.) BUT it gives a good idea of the breakdown at that time.

The first type, distinctive currency paper, does not have any security thread or watermark and is used to print all 1- and 2-dollar notes. The second type contains a security thread and is currently used for 5-, 10-, and 20-dollar notes. The third type, new currency design paper with a watermark and security thread, was introduced in 1995 and is used for the newly redesigned 100-, 50-, and 20-dollar notes

Wondering how they make the paper? Here’s a description:

Throughout the world, currency paper is produced using two processes, fourdrinier and cylinder mold. In both processes, cotton fibers and other materials are mixed into a pulp with water and formed into a slurry, which is spread on a wire mesh where the water content is greatly reduced, and formed into paper.

In the fourdrinier process, which is used by Crane for all BEP currency and is also used for the vast majority of all types of paper produced, including newsprint, the slurry is sprayed onto a large horizontal wire cloth. As the slurry moves along horizontally, water is drained through the wire cloth, and the fibers bind together into a sheet formation.

This was a time of huge leaps in terms of technology, which was clearly something the BEP was struggling with.

Until recently, the manufacturing and purchasing of currency paper was relatively simple because only one type of paper was used to print all U.S. currency


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