5 Things You May Not Know About Synthetic Paper

4 Minute Read
Posted by Nekoosa on 4/7/22 10:30 AM


The evolution of paper products means distributors and end-users alike have a seemingly endless number of choices for creating vibrant, dynamic applications. The level of variety can make it difficult to choose the right paper product for your application regardless of whether the needs are durability, creativity, printing platform compatibility, value or any number of other considerations. 

Synthetic paper — though perhaps not at the top of mind compared with a variety of other solutions — offers users unparalleled flexibility and creativity in a wide range of applications. Made from  polypropylene or polyester resins and inorganic fibers as opposed to wood pulp or other organic components, synthetic paper is by design superior to a variety of other products such as traditional pouch lamination, in terms of strength and resistance to tearing, water damage and other environmental hazards. 

But there is still much to understand about synthetic paper in order to truly realize its value as a true game-changer. With this in mind, let’s look at five things you may not know about synthetic paper to help you discover what makes it a versatile and valuable solution.

The applications for synthetic paper are boundless

While other solutions like laminate appear on the surface to be ideal for a wide range of applications, many have significant limitations or ceilings, in part due to the lack of durability, creativity or compatibility with multiple printing platforms. Because synthetic paper is weather-resistant and tear-proof, it is ideal for indoor and outdoor applications which gives it the upper-hand compared with a number of other signage solutions or paper products. In addition, synthetic paper can be used for a large number of specific projects including menus, ID cards and badges, maps, catalogs, manuals, medical charts, sales collateral and more.

In addition, using synthetic paper in these kinds of contexts helps prevent the likelihood of wrinkles, frayed edges or other wear-and-tear issues that can result in the need for frequent replacement, which helps control costs and increase the overall ROI of synthetic paper compared with other paper solutions. 

Synthetic paper is compatible with a variety of print platforms

Whether your printing application is offset, digital dry toner/laser or HP Indigo, synthetic paper is far more compatible with today’s advanced print platforms compared with other paper products or solutions. With synthetic paper, printing set-up times are minimal and the finished product can be more easily altered or manipulated by the end-user. Folding, cutting, graphic or image integrations and dynamic fonts can be a challenge with other kinds of paper products, whereas synthetic paper offers the flexibility and versatility for use in a wide variety of applications and contexts. 

Synthetic paper is also available in wide format rolls for UV and latex printing. Because synthetic paper is made from durable polyester that will not bow, curl or wrap, synthetic paper is ideal for double-sided hanging graphics, banner stand graphics, trade show panels and other similar applications.

Synthetic paper is a cost-effective solution

This may be one of the more unknown value propositions of synthetic paper. Whereas other materials like pouch lamination require additional processing or finishing once the paper is printed in order to protect it from environmental elements like water, UV light, grease and other hazards, synthetic paper is designed and engineered with these kinds of protection built in without the need for additional processes or equipment. This can reduce the overall cost of your paper solution by as much as 30% compared to other signage solutions like laminate while also virtually eliminating the need for additional manpower.

If durability is a concern, synthetic paper is the move

We know synthetic paper is waterproof and tear-resistant, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when evaluating whether synthetic paper is just as durable as other solutions on the market. Whereas lamination or similar kinds of solutions will break down over time through peeling or moisture seeping beneath the layer of paper protection, synthetic paper and its polyester construction provides a longer service life for printed products. In addition, synthetic paper offers enhanced durability and resistance to extremes in temperature and humidity, and synthetic paper also combats ingress or damage from solvents or harsh chemicals.

Synthetic paper from Nekoosa is versatile and adaptable to suit a variety of needs

Nekoosa’s SYNAPS synthetic paper line offers the versatility and adaptability to cover a variety of printing methods for any job. SYNAPS XM synthetic paper is optimized for use in digital dry toner/laser printers and copiers, as well as for printing via pre-printed in offset printing applications. SYNAPS OM is suitable for offset, HP Indigo, latex and UV wide format printing. Both SYNAPS XM and SYNAPS OM synthetic papers are dual-sided coated with an ink receptive layer and have no grain direction.

Nekoosa’s SYNAPS synthetic paper is engineered for maximum folding and finishing potential, and is also designed to withstand high heat levels which make it ideal for outdoor use as well as extreme environmental conditions. This best-in-class durability, flexibility and superior printed quality make Nekoosa SYNAPS synthetic paper the ideal choice for any application. 

Learn more about how our SYNAPS XM and SYNAPS OM lines of synthetic paper can optimize the performance, durability and longevity of your paper projects!