The Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (PCC) Advantage for Coated Paperboard: Coated Bleached Paperboard

The use of precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) as a coating pigment for paperboard applications is driven by the demand for improved quality and reduced manufacturing costs. Specialty Minerals Inc.’s (SMI’s) Opacarb® PCCs are excellent pigments for pre-coating or top coating bleached paperboard. The optimized particle size of each PCC product contributes to good fiber coverage and glossability. The narrow particle size distribution provides light scatter for maximum brightness and caliper, and coating structure for porosity control. The surface strength of board coatings made with Opacarb® PCC is greater than comparable coatings obtained with conventional kaolin clay pigments. 

PCC pigments allow for improved paperboard quality at reduced manufacturing cost. For instance, changing from a coating system containing kaolin, ground calcium carbonate (GCC) and high cost premium pigments such as titanium dioxide (TiO2) or hollow sphere plastic pigment can result in additional cost savings per ton of board. 

This star chart shows the typical properties achieved by coated bleached board mills using SMI’s PCC coating products. The majority of board properties improves or remains unaffected when using PCC.




The benefits of SMI’s precipitated calcium carbonate coating products include:

  • Improved brightness
  • Excellent fiber coverage
  • Improved caliper
  • Improved surface strength
  • Reduction of TiO2
  • Reduction of plastic pigment 
  • Improved drying times

We deliver these benefits consistently with a successful history of coating experience and technical support.