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September 17th 2018

Choosing the Right Media for the Right Job

With a marketplace full of different products, making the right choice of substrate can be a daunting task. As a habit most printing companies like to use products they are familiar with, and unsurprisingly, most print jobs are printed on paper substrates. Is paper always the right solution for the application? And is lamination the only option to withstand heavy handling or the effects of Mother Nature? Could there be more effective and cost efficient alternatives to paper printing and lamination and are synthetic papers worth considering?

Why Synthetics?

Perfect for situations where moisture or wear are of concern, synthetics are built to last, yet offer all the benefits and flexibility of paper. It’s easy to create durable documents right from your output tray without allocating time and resources to a lamination processes. Synthetics are great for applications such as menus, bookmarks, hospital charts and manuals, signage, applications requiring cleaning and sanitation, and much more.

Synthetic Papers friends or foes?

The downsides to plastic are certainly no secret. There is a growing concern about our everyday disposable plastics fuelled by its’ continuous bad press. Nevertheless, they exist in every aspect of our lives with some of them for a good reason. Their need for durable applications is not likely to disappear overnight and today’s available options are still largely produced using laminated papers. Synthetic paper was created as an alternative to wood-based paper because of the expanding threat of the environmental damage to our forests. Adding a lamination to improve the standard paper’s durability does not reduce the use of plastic – on the contrary, it creates the additional process necessary to achieve the finished item and turns two monomaterials into a difficult to recycle polymaterial. In most cases the recycling process involves shredding the paper and does not always remove the plastic lamination, which then becomes a contaminant, and removing the lamination film from the paper is a process involving chemicals not worth pursuing.

With synthetic papers energy balance studies show that incineration with Energy Recovery is the most environmentally efficient recycling process. Polyester (PET) films have approximately the same energy content as soft coal and are thus a useful component of mixed domestic refuse for incineration as they assist the combustion of wet paper and vegetable matter. This valuable energy released can be recovered and used in heating of public buildings, homes and industrial facilities. This benefit is widely practised in Japan, Switzerland and Sweden.

Not All Synthetics Are Created Equal

While all synthetics are comprised of a base sheet, primer and top coating, many of the products you’ll find on the market today have very different compositions.

The top coating of a synthetic is uniquely formulated based on the type of print technology it will be used with. Offset, laser, HP Indigo and inkjet print processes all require a synthetic with very unique properties. This is because the top coat is the primary determinant for performance, printability and durability.

Base sheets, meanwhile, come in a variety of polymers and thicknesses. However, not all polymers are compatible with all print technologies. This is especially true in the case of digital electrophotography devices where heat is the determining factor. And even with the right top coat formulation, not all sheet thicknesses work with all digital presses.

Does the printed material need to be water-resistant? Will it be exposed to bleach and cleaning chemicals, grease, petrol or oil?  What about tearing? Will the printed material be exposed to extreme temperature?  If any of these factors will be issues, you need to consider the options very carefully.

Importance of Controlling Static

Higher levels of static lead to significantly higher incidents of jamming and print defects, resulting in waste and slowing down your operation. To ensure the highest level of performance, it’s not only critical to use a synthetic substrate specially formulated for your dry toner press, but it’s equally important to choose the right product. Taking the material density as an example – synthetics have a higher density than wood-based paper, meaning that when comparing synthetic and standard paper, both with the same gsm, synthetic will still feel a lot stiffer.

Why Choose KernowPrint®?

Do your clients have high expectations for print quality and require output made of the strongest construction to withstand strenuous conditions? Do you need a synthetic that is engineered to deliver consistent performance among high volumes and across a broad range of OEM digital presses?

If so, then the KernowPrint® Dry Toner range is a great fit for you. For your customers in specific market sectors whose applications dictate a need for extremely durable documents, they’ll love the fact that our polyester substrates are alcohol-resistant, meaning hand sanitizer and other abrasive chemicals won’t easily rub the toner away.

Unlike other competing synthetics constructed of low density, caveated polyester film, KernowPrint® Dry Toner is a solid piece of polyester film with a special top coating that offers superior construction and performance. This means image transfer is consistent, shrinkage is reduced and static build-up is minimized. It’s also stronger, whiter, more opaque and less susceptible to static than many competing products.

But have no fear – for any application, there will be a solution. At Kernow Coatings, we offer an extensive range of media for all types of application. Our Dry Toner range of KernowPrint® is suitable for both long and short-run dry toner printing and litho printing using fully oxidised inks.

And now with the launch of our KernowPrint® for HP Indigo driven by Cobalt™ coating technology, Kernow is offering an inspirational collection of materials for use on your HP Indigo press, whether sheet or roll fed.

At Kernow Coatings we push boundaries, and design and create outstanding new products. We know synthetic paper and we know what coating technology is needed for whichever application you need.  We understand your requirements and because we know print, we can offer solutions for whatever applications your customers have a need for.

Talk to us at Kernow Coatings – www.kernowcoatings.com.

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