Synthetic paper is paper as a material made from chemical fibers using conventional paper production technology.
Synthetic paper made from polymer films (including filled ones) is also known. It is used to produce cards, money, documents, movie screens and more.
A limitation of the use of synthetic materials for the manufacture of printed products is their high cost, which is 3-8 times higher than the cost of the most expensive coated paper
In this regard, the use of modern artificial papers is justified only for those publications that meet higher requirements for strength characteristics, durability, moisture resistance, chemical and biological protection.
Also, the problem of recycling waste from synthetic paper production has not yet been resolved.
Experimental production of artificial paper
In Russia, the greatest successes in the creation of synthetic papers were achieved by the St. Petersburg Institute of Pulp and Paper Industry.
Synthetic paper for printing was developed at this institute in collaboration with the Vladimir Chemical Plant – the base of the paper consists of polyethylene terephthalate film (PET film) on the surface of which a bumifying coating is applied, which gives the paper wear-resistant properties.
Using PET film as a base, providing the necessary strength properties and stability of parameters.
The bumifying coating contains a film-forming polymer, solvent, filler, pigment and special additives, antistatic agent, wetting agent, etc.
All this gives the paper properties like film – transparency, roughness, whiteness, opacity, density
etc. The required set of properties can be obtained by using a film-forming resin (polyethylene terephthalate oligomer) or acrylic resins and changing the composition of the coating and changing the composition of the bumifying coating.
Disadvantages of synthetic paper
During the experiments, it was found that the main disadvantage of paper as a printing material is its increased electrification, which makes it difficult to use in high-speed printing machines.
Certain difficulties also arise in the subsequent processing of prints, for example, when collating them on sheet-gathering machines.
Reducing the electrification of paper can be achieved in two ways: by treating the surface with an antistatic agent or by introducing special antistatic agents as part of a bumifying coating.
The surface treatment method is not friction-resistant and the antistatic effect weakens over time.
During the printing of experimental editions made on synthetic paper, a drawback was discovered such as instability of surface properties.
Changing the composition of the bumifying agent coating had a significant impact on the color perception of artificial paper. Currently, research continues to improve the surface properties of synthetic paper.
Application of synthetic paper
Considering the high moisture resistance and mechanical strength, the absence of linear deformation, and the absence of wet drying, synthetic paper can be widely used for the manufacture of the following types of printed products:
- technical paper for working in the field and even in water;
- technical documentation
- for visual aids and posters on industrial safety in an aggressive, dusty, waterlogged air environment;
- for visual aids for children’s and educational institutions;
- basics of printed stickers for marking electrical and other types of products, postcards, booklets, covers for brochures and soft bindings of books, souvenir publications.
The use of synthetic paper in the printing industry offers great prospects for saving conventional printing paper made from cellulose and wood pulp by increasing the strength and durability of printed products.
Synthetic paper became world famous thanks to Xerox
. Watch a video about the characteristics of this company’s artificial products on our website.