Is Synthetic Paper Worth Considering?
Even though it's not brand-new to the publishing market, synthetic paper is, among the publishing industry, sort of the new kid in class. We don't know him very well, he acts a little differently than the kids we're used to, and we already have friends, so why take the time to get to know him?
As usually happens to the new kid in class, though, one outgoing stranger befriends him and quickly becomes his best pal, and little by little, we'll all get to know him—liking or disliking aside.
A few publishers have taken on the outgoing-stranger role and tried this new friend on for size. Others are curiously eavesdropping, watching to see how this new kid fits in.
Whatever your stance, the new kid is here and he's getting friendly with some of your peers. Here's just about everything you need to know about the new kid to see if he's worth some consideration.
Composition and Strengths
Synthetics contain no wood pulp or natural fibers, and are most commonly made out of polypropylene resin, along with inorganic fibers. The quality of synthetics is so high that it can be hard to distinguish a sheet of synthetic paper from a sheet of 'real paper,' as it looks and feels like a #1 freesheet.
Synthetics derive their strength from a base layer that is covered with surface layers to add an ultra-bright finish, high opacity and smooth texture.
Other unique characteristics that distinguish synthetics from pulp-based papers are strength and durability: They are tear-, water-, chemical- and grease-resistant, as well as UV-stable. These characteristics are ideal for publications that can be read in the bath, pool, spa or shower, and have been used in a number of such products. They can be safely used while boating, fishing, skiing, snowmobiling or scuba diving. They're ideal for instruction manuals for lifeguarding, first aid, emergency preparedness, mechanics or landscaping. Cookbooks and children's books are also good candidates, as they can be wiped clean. You can even sanitize them with disinfectants.