You’ve probably heard about, even knowingly or unknowingly used synthetic paper. But what is synthetic paper? The term synthetic paper is generally used to refer to various products that look, feel and have the same uses as standard products. Most people wonder if there are any benefits to selecting it over traditional pulp-based products . So let’s take a deeper look into what it is and whether or not you should be using it.
Rather than traditional wood pulp, synthetic paper is made from synthetic polymers that deliver additional material properties. There are countless material variables, but the majority of it is made using petroleum-based resins. Often referred to as tree-free paper, this printable polymer-based substrate can be categorized according to its chemical composition.
It offers most of the qualities that you find in traditional paper. In addition, it can serve as a perfect substitute for paper because of its white and opaque appearance and its printing and processing capabilities. One of the most common types of synthetic paper is PPG TESLIN®. This material is a single-layer, polyolefin-based paper.
Other types are made from thermoplastic materials, including:
- High-density polyethene
Most synthetic papers are coated and they have many uses. Some are used in food or household product labeling, labels for pharmaceuticals, restaurant menus, ID cards and passports.
Apart from understanding what is synthetic paper, you might also want to know why this material is becoming popular. There are several reasons why people are turning to it. First, it is highly durable, versatile, and printable. Secondly, it offers more cost-efficiency than traditional paper. Therefore, synthetic paper is the way to go if you need it for applications that require greater durability, strength, and functionality. Below are some of the benefits of using synthetic paper.
Moisture has always been a problem when working with traditional paper. Even the best-laminated materials can get damaged by water. Fortunately, when it gets wet, you can easily wipe the moisture off the surface. You can even dip the paper in water without worrying about your print being damaged in any way.
Due to its water-resistant properties, synthetic paper is perfect for some cool water-friendly applications. For instance, it can be used on signage for scuba diving courses or plant tags that are water-resistant. Generally, if your finished product will get into contact with water, it would be your best option.
This is yet another reason why you might want to use this material. Because it’s highly durable, it doesn’t tear easily. This makes it perfect for use on runner’s bibs, restaurant menus, and other items that are used constantly and under extreme pressure.
It isn’t just waterproof, but it’s weatherproof as well. If you want to use your it for outdoor items exposed to dirt, sun and wind, it’s advisable to use synthetic instead of traditional materials. Then, when it gets dirty, you can simply wipe the surface clean without tearing the paper or losing print.
This is probably one of the most remarkable qualities of synthetic paper. It can run through commercial digital presses. When printing using this paper, you will achieve quicker turnaround times and better color matching. Your customers will appreciate not having to wait long as you print their work.
Today, there are many grades and gauge thicknesses of synthetic paper products, and you can find these under various names and brands. Most of the variations you find among synthetic paper types are generally based on print technology and intended uses. Some are highly biodegradable, heat resistant, and suitable for food contact. It’s best to figure out your intended use first before you make the perfect selection.