Synthetic Paper Application and Printing Processing

Synthetic paper is one of the fastest-growing printing materials in the print industry. It combines the durability of plastics with the printing performance of paper. It is stronger and more durable than traditional paper. The following uses Polylith Synthetic Paper as an example to introduce in detail the application of synthetic paper and its printing processing precautions.
Performance advantages

There are two main categories of Polylith Synthetic Papers, G Series (Tear Resistant Products) and P Series. The P series is produced from polypropylene resin and titanium dioxide, while the G series is reinforced by using a mixture of inert calcium carbonate and titanium dioxide to increase the whiteness and opacity of the synthetic paper.

Polylith synthetic paper is resistant to water, chemical solvents and grease. When exposed to moist air, its dimensional stability, can adapt to the temperature change of -60 ~ 240 °F, anti-cracking, anti-shrinkage and resistance to dimensional deformation and color distortion, repeated bending and bending will not crack Or burst. Commonly used chemical solvents do not adversely affect Polylith synthetic paper. Polylith synthetic paper also does not absorb grease and is easy to clean.

Polylith Synthetic Paper meets the relevant standards of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States CONEG, and can be in direct contact with food. According to different product packaging level requirements, different grades of synthetic paper can be selected.

In addition, in terms of environmental protection, Polylith Synthetic Paper can be recycled 100%, and no toxic gases are generated when it is burned. In addition, since the synthetic paper is based on a polyolefin resin, it can be recycled together with other plastic packaging materials, such as PE, PP and PET, and it is not necessary to classify the material for recycling.

Application area

Because synthetic paper combines the durability of plastics with the printability of paper, it is suitable for almost any application. In addition, the price of synthetic paper is only slightly higher than that of paper. Naturally, such a high price/performance ratio has won the favor of the market.

Tags are mainly used for in-mold labels, wrap labels, pressure-sensitive labels, cut & stack labels, plug-in labels, luggage labels, furniture labels, and gardening labels.

The map is mainly used for folding maps, mapping maps, wall charts, navigation maps, military maps.

Menu/Manual Mainly used for menus, technical manuals, maintenance guides, industry guides, and military manuals.

Cards are mainly used for business cards, access cards, ID cards, phone cards, medical cards, playing cards, scorecards, and sport cards.

Publications Mainly used for books, magazines, covers, children's books, brochures, jigsaw puzzles, posters/posters, wall calendars, decals, cooking recipes.

Packaging is mainly used for shopping bags, caps, tapes.

Stationery is mainly used for folders and envelopes.

Signage and Signs Mainly used for indoor/outdoor signs, posters, banner advertisements, hanging door hangers, exhibition billboards, point-of-sale (POP) displays, and shelf-mounted promotional hangtags.

printing art

Synthetic paper has the same printing applicability as paper, and can use conventional flexographic, offset, gravure, screen or thermal transfer without the need for pretreatment of the material. Because the ink is not absorbed and has excellent binding properties with the material, the printed text is bright and vivid, and the color retention time is long. Synthetic paper printing can achieve high ink coverage and color fidelity.
In screen printing, it is recommended to use Oxidizing inks that are evaporated and dried, and it is not recommended to use Oxidizing inks. If using a drying cabinet for drying, the temperature should not exceed 150°F and should be kept constant. Usually the higher the number of screen lines, the thinner the ink layer, the better the printing effect.

In flexo printing, most ink suppliers can provide solvent inks and water-based inks for synthetic paper printing.

Polylith synthetic paper can also be printed on a sheet-fed or web-type gravure printer, and most ink suppliers can supply the right ink.

Due to the fact that offset printing is used more in synthetic paper printing, the following focuses on the problems to be noted in the offset printing of synthetic paper.

In most cases, Polylith Synthetic Paper can be offset using standard paper and ink. However, it is recommended that you test the paper before printing. Using 175 lines/inch of screen lines can be used to easily reproduce fine lines and tone details. If conventional paper inks do not achieve the desired effect, special inks need to be selected additionally.


For general printing jobs, if the ink balance is controlled better, conventional paper inks can achieve satisfactory printing results. For multi-color jobs requiring high overlay accuracy, if paper with high solvent content is used, the ink will cause distorted printed images, which is especially serious for low-quantity synthetic paper. In this case, it is recommended to use a high solid content special ink, which has a very low content of mineral oil and can be completely dried by oxidation alone.

Paper supply (1) The most suitable printing speed is 0.8 to 10,000 sheets/hour.
(2) It is best to use a fan to blow the synthetic paper before the paper is fed, so that it can be separated easily.
(3) If the humidity is too low, static electricity is easily generated. When Polylith Synthetic Paper is printed, the relative humidity in the environment must be kept above 50%. At the same time, static electricity can be used to control static electricity. For example, the use of static elimination tinsel helps to reduce the accumulation of static electricity.

Printing plate

Although synthetic paper can use a paper/polyester plate at the time of printing, metal plates and pre-printed resin plates are still a better choice. When using paper/polyester plates, care should be taken that some additives delay or prevent the ink from drying out. The fountain solution The ink balance is the most important factor that affects the offset quality. You can use 11% to 15% alcohol fountain solution, or add other alcohol solvents in the fountain solution to help improve the printing quality. It is recommended that the fountain solution be maintained at a pH of 5.5-6.0 and maintained at a temperature of 48-59°F. Since the synthetic paper does not have the absorption properties of the paper, the amount of water supplied on the printing plate should be reduced by 10% to 20%, otherwise the ink drying will be affected. Spraying It is recommended to use a fine powder with a particle size of 400 mesh for dusting. Do not use the commonly used 300-gloss matte starch type dusting powder. It is recommended not to use soluble powder, because these dusting is not enough to prevent the ink from getting dirty. Stacking The paper stack height is generally 9 inches, but it is recommended that the stack height of the synthetic paper should not exceed 7 to 8 inches, and the ideal stack height is 6 to 7 inches. Do not perform any treatment on the printed sheet before thoroughly drying. Drying To avoid staining of the ink and to print further, a drying time of at least 3 to 5 hours is required. Before the synthetic paper is cut, coated, and post-processed, there must be at least 12 hours of thorough drying time. If suitable UV inks are used, the drying time can be shortened. Similarly, the use of electron beam and infrared drying can also increase the drying speed. During drying, the temperature should not exceed 150°F in order to maintain the dimensional stability of the synthetic paper. Compared with paper, printing pressure can be reduced by 5% to 10%.


Polylith synthetic paper can adapt to a variety of post-press processing methods, such as paper cutting, slitting, die cutting, drilling, punching, punching, buckles, embossing, hot stamping, and folding. Cutting Paper Polylith synthetic paper can easily achieve the same paper cutting accuracy as paper, and the cutting knife used should be sharp. In addition, since the synthetic paper has a certain compressibility, a lighter clamping pressure should be used. Die-cutting Die-cutting knives used in die-cut synthetic paper should be hardened and hardened, and should have a Rockwell hardness of at least 55 degrees, whereas regular paper uses a blade hardness of 45 to 48 degrees. The famous die cutter suppliers Austria Bonna and Sweden Sandvik can be selected. In the selection of the blade angle, the standard 60-degree blade angle can be selected for the cutting of thin materials; the material thickness of 0.008-0.014 inches can select the blade angle of 52 degrees; the material with the thickness over 0.014 inches is recommended to select 42 Degree of blade angle. Drilling and punching Polylith synthetic paper can be drilled and punched. The cutting knife should be sharp enough, because the irregular edges cut by the blunt knife will greatly reduce the initial tear strength. During the drilling process, the heat generated will cause the edge of the synthetic paper to melt. In order to reduce the amount of heat generated, an additional short residence time may be added. The drill bit should be sharp and the stacking height should not exceed 1 inch when drilling. Folding Polylith synthetic paper can be folded on an ordinary folding machine just like the same bulky paper. In the production of books and periodicals, synthetic paper can be folded into 16 pages or less. If there are more pages, some experimentation is required. Indentation Synthetic paper cannot be indented like normal paper. It must be ensured that the indentation is made in the transverse direction, not in the longitudinal indentation. Binding Polylith synthetic paper can be bound wirelessly using a suitable hot melt adhesive. To increase adhesion, some grooves can be engraved at the spine. Polylith synthetic paper can also use coil stitching, but it should be especially careful when punching and punching. Polylith Synthetic Paper can also be saddle-stapled on the sewing machine. Bonded Polylith Synthetic papers can be bonded to one another or to other materials. Adhesives that can be used include synthetic resin adhesives, solvent adhesives, or hot melt adhesives. Heat-sealed Polylith synthetic paper itself can be heat-sealed. At 150°C, the seal strength is very high. Different types of synthetic paper, you can choose different heat sealing process. Coating and Coating (1) The use of 100% solids ink, the mineral oil content should not exceed 3%, can be dried by oxidation. (2) If the graphic needs to be coated or embossed, the use of wax-free ink is required. (3) Use a new ink with a higher color intensity. (4) When coating or gluing, the printed synthetic paper should be tested for compatibility under end-use conditions. (5) Polylith pre-coated synthetic paper can be coated in-line with water-based coatings. However, on-line waterborne coating is not recommended for non-precoated synthetic paper unless the press is properly tuned to ensure effective drying.

Hao Fayi

Reprinted from: Printed Materials in China

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