(From fr. Cellophane, name of a registered trademark); sust. m. 1. Transparent plastic paper obtained from solidified viscose and used to wrap or protect objects: candies are wrapped in colored cellophane. Synonyms Cellophane paper. Transparent and flexible polymeric material in film form, obtained from cellulose, invented in 1808 by the Swiss chemist Jacques Edwin Brandenberger. It is flexible, moderately resistant to…
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Cellophane was invented by Swiss chemist Jacques E. Brandenberger while he was employed at Blanchisserie et Teinturerie de Thaon. In 1900, inspired by seeing a wine spill on a restaurant tablecloth, he decided to create a fabric that could repel liquids rather than absorb them. His first step was to spray a waterproof coating on the fabric, and he chose to treat it with viscose. The resulting coated fabric was too stiff, but the clear film separated easily from the reinforcing fabric, and he abandoned his original idea when the possibilities of the new material became apparent.
Samuel Courtauld’s British viscose technology textile company had managed to diversify in 1930 with the production of a viscose film, which they called “Viscacelle”. However, competition with cellophane was an obstacle to their sales, and in 1935 Courtauld founded British Cellophane jointly with the Cellophane Company and its French parent company CTA. Between 1935 and 1937 they built their main production plant in Bridgwater, Somerset, England, which employed 3000 workers.
Physical properties such as tensile strength, elongation, softness and stiffness depend on the composition of this three-component system, which varies considerably within the following approximate limits: regenerated cellulose 60-85%, wetting agent 10-25% and water 5-15%. The moisture content will vary additionally, because the film is susceptible to changes in humidity in the atmosphere.
Cellophane is resistant and usually chemically inert, except to concentrated acids and alkalis. It also transmits a high percentage of ultraviolet rays. It is available in a variety of standard colors, can be modified to resist flame and can be marked and decorated by a variety of printing techniques.
Cellophane is used as a general protective wrapping material. Because of its good electrical properties, it is used in the construction of wires and cables and other electrical products. It also functions as a separation, barrier or release film in plastic molding and lamination. To make it moisture-proof, most of the cellophane film is coated with a lacquer composed of nitrocellulose (pyroxylin), plasticizers, resins and waxes. This coating can also give the cellophane film a heat-sealing property.
Disadvantages of cellophane
Among the products manufactured by the paper industry, it is cellophane that has properties that make it a clear candidate to replace petroleum-based plastic containers and bags. Cellophane is one of the thinnest films derived from cellulose.
Cellophane was invented by Swiss chemist Jacques E. Brandenberger in 1900. Inspired by seeing a wine spill on a restaurant tablecloth, he decided to create a fabric that could repel liquids rather than absorb them.
The resulting coated fabric was too stiff, but the clear film separated easily from the reinforcing fabric, and he abandoned his original idea when the possibilities of the new material became apparent.
Subsequently, it was perfected and adapted to different applications, as in the case of Nitrocellulose, which gave it resistance to external humidity, and other compounds that allowed flexible and porous fibers, as in the case of sausage casings.