Advances in technology have brought new products into the paper market, giving you more choices than ever.
Today's market is flooded with numerous grades and types of papers. Some work better with digital printing equipment, some with offset presses. Many of these new products are produced using little or no natural fibers.
Along with changes in the way synthetic and recycled grades are produced come changes in the way paper has to be handled. This brings new challenges to the in-plant manager.
One factor to consider is the durability of the paper you select. According to Michael Cafiero, national marketing manager for Yupo, folding endurance tests have shown that Yupo's synthetic grades of paper—made of polypropylene plastic and other "inorganic fillers"—are up to 10 times more durable then a natural-based paper.
"Any type of application where there will be a lot of wear and tear and exposure is where our product performs the best," says Cafiero.
Synthetic paper grades also have different drying qualities than natural based papers, since there are no absorption characteristics. Inks dry through 100 percent oxidation. Water-based inks cannot be used with Yupo's products, Cafiero notes, adding that most major ink manufacturers have designed inks to use with synthetic grades.
"You have to watch your inks, your solutions, and have to try to use as little water as possible with the plates," Cafiero explains. "Besides that it is run pretty much the same as [pulp-based] paper."
One downfall of synthetic grades is that many cannot be used in the office environment (i.e. with ink-jet printers, laser printers or copiers) due to a low melting temperature.
"It's the heating element in the laser [printers] and copiers. Our melting point is 200 degrees fahrenheit and they run at about 400 degrees," Cafiero says.
On the upside, Yupo's papers never have to be laminated, and are recyclable. Cafiero also says that printed work takes on a special quality when using synthetic grades.