XEROX PRODUCES ERASABLE PAPER

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XEROX PRODUCES ERASABLE PAPER

 user 2007-05-24 at 10:27:00 am Views: 41
  • #18301

    Xerox produces erasable paper
    MAY
    2007 SINCE the advent of computers and an increase of environmental
    concerns, paper was supposed to fall out of favour as a storage
    medium.It didn’t, and when researchers at Xerox discovered that two out
    of five photocopies ended up in the recycling bin at the end of the
    day, they decided to do something about it.

    And now, what Xerox calls erasable paper, is being developed.Although
    the technology is still in a preliminary state, it blurs the line
    between paper documents and digital displays and could lead to a big
    reduction in paper use, according to Paul Smith, who is not only direct
    marketing program manager at Xerox’s research centre in Canada but
    manages the company’s new materials design and synthesis laboratory.Dr
    Smith says the increasing use of paper was a catalyst for the
    research.From talking to customers, researchers learnt that people want
    re-usability but don’t want to lose the attributes of paper, he
    says.”Give them paper so they can still write on it and take it to a
    meeting,” he says.To develop erasable paper, Xerox needed to identify
    ways to create temporary images.It did this by developing compounds
    that change colour when they absorb a certain wavelength of light but
    then gradually disappear.The paper self-erases in about 16 to 24 hours
    and can be used many times. Smith says it’s a similar process to that
    used in making photochromatic lenses on eye spectacles. (Photochromatic
    glass is a material whose optical properties can be altered
    electrically.)Smith’s lab in Canada developed the paper that creates
    the image and Xerox’s Palo Alto research centre created the image bar
    that can write the image on to special paper and developed a prototype
    printer that creates the image on the paper using a light bar that
    provides a specific wavelength of light as a writing source.The process
    works without toner and produces a low-resolution document that appears
    to be printed with purple ink.The written image fades naturally within
    16 hours or can be immediately erased by exposing it to heat.According
    to Xerox, individual pieces of paper have been used up to 50 times, the
    only limit in the process being paper life.Smith says, however, that
    erasable paper is still a development project, Xerox needing to work
    with business divisions to see where it would go.The price of the
    erasable paper will also be critical to its success in the marketplace
    and the aim is to keep its cost to within three times that of regular
    paperXerox’s research in erasable paper is one of the company’s
    continuing investments in “green products” that deliver measurable
    benefits to the environment.Another is solid-ink printing technology,
    which generates 90 per cent less waste than comparable laser printers.