TESLIN® Substrate Synthetic Paper Printing Guide: Digital Printing

Because it withstands high temperatures, Teslin substrate can be printed using most digital printing presses. The recommended product grade for digital presses is Teslin Digital 1000 substrate (SP1000DIGT), however, Teslin SP and TS substrate grades have been successfully used in many instances (for specific grade recommendations, please refer to the Teslin Substrate Digital Printing Compatibility Matrix). Teslin Digital substrate is typically 10.5 mils / 267 micron thick – thicker than many papers – and has no coating, so both sides are equally printable.

Digital press types that have successfully printed on Teslin substrate include: HP Indigo, Xeikon 5000-8000, Kodak Nexpress 2100 and 2500, Xerox iGEN3, Canon C7000, among many others. Also included are any presses that may use these print engines. These manufacturers should be familiar with Teslin substrate, and the products should be scripted where applicable.

Teslin substrate certification for HP Indigo are available on the Rochester Institute of Technology website (http://printlab.rit.edu) under the HP Indigo Media Certification Program. Certification details are also available through the HP Indigo Media Locator (www.hp.com/media/locator).

PPG Industries/Teslin substrate is also listed on the Qualified Substrates for Nexpress Digital Production Color Presses:

Kodak NexPress Qualified Substrates (pdf)

General guidelines for printing Teslin synthetic paper substrate on a digital press:

  • Teslin substrate should be allowed some time to acclimatize to the press environment; best performance is achieved when stored and used in a 50-70% RH, 20-23 ºC environment.
  • Teslin substrate is sensitive to moisture and should be repackaged in moisture-protective wrapping after a partial roll is used.
  • Sheets of Teslin substrate should be fanned thoroughly in all directions prior to stacking into the printer tray.
  • Sheets should be fed in small stacks (100-200 sheets) at a time to help prevent double feeds.
  • Printer media settings should be adjusted to reflect actual grade thickness.
  • Whenever relevant, feeding with various sheet orientations, i.e. landscape or portrait, and from various trays may be experimented to identify the most reliable configuration. Generally, the simpler the transit path, the better; manual feed in simplex mode is usually preferred for initial trial.

Tips for printing Teslin substrate synthetic paper on HP Indigo 

  • Ensure that the feed adjustments (air/pile height) are set properly.
  • Reduce blanket temperature at least 5 ºC.
  • Due to the porous/absorptive nature, Teslin substrate may stretch slightly when printed. Certain forms may be adversely affected by this mis-registration (e.g., composite reverses at the tail end of the sheet may exhibit “hanging” color). Yellow circumferential adjustment should solve this problem.
  • Separation delays tend to slow the process down and may help with the color registration.
  • It is best not to use the duplex option when printing on Teslin substrate. The work-and-turn method is preferred.

Tips for printing Teslin substrate synthetic paper on Xeikon, Xerox, IBM and Agfa digital print presses

  • For laser-based digital printers using Xeikon engines, use Teslin Digital substrate grade (SP1000DIGT). This grade is available in the appropriate roll and sheet configuration for these digital printers.
  • Turn off the pre-conditioning unit. This is used to dry paper prior to imaging. When turned on, it may soften or weaken Teslin substrate synthetic paper sheet and could potentially create dimensional stability problems.
  • Tension should be low to prevent stretching. Tension set point values of less than 65N have been used successfully.
  • Fusing temperature should be <120°C. This temperature should fuse the toner with no problems.
  • Teslin substrate will shrink slightly or experience some "necking" (<1%).
  • Transfer settings should be set extremely low, preferably from 20-30.
  • Duplex settings should be set in accordance with transfer settings (transfer settings and duplex settings are competing variables).
  • Density settings (LDA) should be increased. Compared to pulp-based papers, the LDA setting required to get the appropriate toner density is very high.