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Q: Aluminum foil paper ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Aluminum foil paper
Category: Reference, Education and News
Asked by: clicker5-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 08 Nov 2002 02:03 PST
Expires: 08 Dec 2002 02:03 PST
Question ID: 102559
Why is aluminum foil paper, shiny on one side and dull on the other side?

This question is asked by my 9 year old granddaughter
Subject: Re: Aluminum foil paper
Answered By: juggler-ga on 08 Nov 2002 02:18 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

The company that manufactures Reynolds Wrap addresses this question as

"The difference in appearance between dull and shiny is due to the
foil manufacturing process. In the final rolling step, two layers of
aluminum foil are passed through the rolling mill at the same time.
The side coming in contact with the mill's highly polished steel
rollers becomes shiny. The other side, not coming in contact with the
heavy rollers, comes out with a dull or matte finish."
From the web site of

A similar explanation is offered by the Aluminum Association:
"Foil is shiny on only one side because as it passes through the final
foil mill, two thicknesses of foil are rolled together. The sides
facing each other emerge with the dull finish, while the sides in
contact with the foil mills come out shinier – due to the burnishing
effect of the rollers."
From the web site of

search strategy: "aluminum foil", shiny, shinier, dull

I hope this helps.

Clarification of Answer by juggler-ga on 08 Nov 2002 10:42 PST
I'm assuming that your granddaughter wants to know my aluminum foil
(of all varieties) has a shiny side and a dull side. I didn't think it
was likely that she'd be concerned about the sort of paper that
nealzero mentions below (i.e., the sort of paper that you find
hamburgers wrapped in at places like Wendy's).  In any case, though,
the shiny side of a foil product is the result of the foil coming into
contact with heavy rollers in the manufacturing process.

Clarification of Answer by juggler-ga on 08 Nov 2002 10:58 PST
Sorry for that typo in the previous clarification. Instead of "my," it
should have been "why."
clicker5-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thank you very much for the answer, and the comment.

I sure enjoy working with my granddaughter on Google questions.

The last question she asked was, “is there a cure for the common cold”.
We had a lot of good fun with this, because of the answer, and the many comments.

Thank you juggler-ga, and neilzero-ga.
I rate the answer with 5 stars.

Subject: Re: Aluminum foil paper
From: neilzero-ga on 08 Nov 2002 09:41 PST
juggler ignored the word paper in your question. For perhaps a
century, paper with a very thin coating of metal, has found various
uses, perhaps because it is cheaper than stand alone foil. It is shiny
on one side, because it is paper on the other side and paper is
typically less shiny than metal.   Neil

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