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Tips for Commercial Printers

DuPont™ Tyvek® is not paper - it's 100% spunbonded polyethylene fiber. Most styles have been corona treated to improve ink adhesion and have been coated with an antistatic agent to facilitate sheet handling.

Here are a few tips to help you get excellent results every time you print on Tyvek®:

  • Use low solvent content inks: Tyvek® is unaffected by water, but hydrocarbon solvents found in most litho inks will swell and distort it. It is important to use inks containing less than 3% volatile solvent. These inks are usually made from dry pigment. Most ink suppliers have litho inks for Tyvek®.
  • Inks made from permanent pigments are recommended for printing Tyvek®: Alkali Blue, Red Lake 2C, and Rubine Red 52 are not recommended for use on Tyvek®.
  • Add more impression: Tyvek® will require about 3-4 mils (0.08-0.10mm) additional impression compared to a sheet of paper of equivalent thickness.
  • Reduce level of dampening solution: Tyvek® does not absorb water as readily as paper and, for this reason, the press should be run with less dampening solution. If the printing is dull or washed out, reduce the amount of dampening solution, don't increase the ink volume.
  • Print with the minimum ink film thickness: this will minimize dot distortion, sheet distortion and the appearance of fiber swirl and will also reduce ink drying time.
  • Litho inks dry more slowly on Tyvek® than on paper. When doing full coverage multicolor printing, keep the pile height below 20 inches. Winding the sheets will also accelerate drying. Too much dampening solution can cause excessive ink drying time.
  • Tyvek® is unaffected by alcohol and alcohol substitute dampening solution additives.
  • Either side of Tyvek® can be printed. Generally, the smooth side, with a slight downward curl at the edges, is preferred. However, for two-side printing with heavy coverage, print the smooth side first with the least coverage and back it up on the rough side with the heavier coverage.