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chemical containers with adhesive labels
October 29th 2019

Your substrate guide: know your PET from your PVC

This substrate guide shows you the difference between KernowPrint PET, PVC, BOPP, and Styrene, to help you see why choosing the right base matters.

All plastics are the same, aren’t they?

Whether it’s for a shipment of chemical barrels across the Atlantic or a public notice that’s legally required to be legible come rain or shine, KernowPrint is trusted globally for the toughest applications.

Imagine a safety-critical sign that failed at the worst time because someone splashed something on it, bumped it with a tool and scratched it off, or put it in an environment where the heat caused it to distort!

So choosing the right base material for the job is essential, and there are lots of choices, in this blog, we will go through a few to understand the differences and how they could affect you.

But first, let’s talk about KernowPrint and what it is

KernowPrint is a polyester base with a specialist coating so that it prints extremely easily, just like paper. It is static controlled and there is no static buildup over time.

KernowPrint is waterproof and impervious to chemicals such as solvents, alcohol, petrol, oils, gas, acids, bleach, and more.

When printed, KernowPrint is highly durable against scratching, scuffing, and wear.  We bet you can’t scratch it!

KernowPrint can be folded over 1 million times without damaging the material.

KernowPrint is extremely durable and less likely to break and tear in any tough environment compared to other plastics.

KernowPrint is extremely tolerant of heat.

KernowPrint is recyclable in PET waste streams.

KernowPrint Vs. PVC

PVC is not resistant to all chemicals

PVC is notoriously bad for the environment

PVC has a very low heat tolerance

While you can fold PVC, repeated folding will cause it to crack

PVC cannot be incinerated as it releases hydrochloric acid into the air

PVC products tend towards lower toner adhesion and print quality

PVC suffers from static buildup

lab test showing kernowprint performing much netter than a competitor in an acetone dip, and petrol dip.

KernowPrint Vs. Styrene

Styrene is very easily damaged by chemicals

Styrene is highly flammable

Styrene will crack very easily when folded

Styrene can distort under heat

Styrene products lack durability against scratch and alcohol tests

Styrene suffers from static buildup even worse than PVC

Why KernowPrint Soft Touch (BOPP/Polypropylene)

KernowPrint Soft Touch is softer and more readily folded, rolled, and ideal for flexible applications.

It has a high chemical resistance meaning it’s unaffected by most chemicals, such as acids, solvents, and bases.

It is considered more eco-friendly than PVCs and does not contain hazardous by-products.

it has exceptional mechanical properties.  While not as durable as PET, it has a very high tensile strength, good resistance to fatigue (won’t crack), and converts very easily

Some of the largest OSHA tag manufacturers use polypropylene/BOPP for their safety signage due to its versatility

Can you afford not to?

When you’re choosing material for your next print project, consider your environment first. If you need your print to be legible for months, and it will be outside or in a harsh environment – then you need KernowPrint.

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