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Sizing or size is any one of numerous substances that is applied to, or incorporated into, other materials — especially papers and textiles — to act as a protective filler or glaze. Sizing is used in papermaking and textile manufacturing to change the absorption and wear characteristics of those materials.
The term "sizing" also refers to the process of including or applying the substance.
Sizing is used during paper manufacture to reduce the paper's tendency when dry to absorb liquid, with the goal of allowing inks and paints to remain on the surface of the paper and to dry there, rather than be absorbed into the paper. This provides a more consistent, economical, and precise printing, painting, and writing surface. This is achieved by curbing the paper fibers' tendency to absorb liquids by capillary action. In addition, sizing affects abrasiveness, creasibility, finish, printability, smoothness, and surface bond strength and decreases surface porosity and fuzzing.
There are three categories of papers with respect to sizing: unsized (water-leaf), weak sized (slack sized), and strong sized (hard sized). Waterleaf has low water resistance and includes absorbent papers for blotting. Slack sized paper is somewhat absorbent and includes newsprint, while hard sized papers have the highest water resistance, such as coated fine papers and liquid packaging board.
There are two types of sizing: internal sizing, sometimes also called engine sizing, and surface sizing (tub sizing). Internal sizing is applied to almost all papers and especially to all those that are machine made, while surface sizing is added for the highest grade bond, ledger, and writing papers.
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