Strength in Papers
Back on dry land
Mainthow says that natural laminated papers are as durable. Used for books and guides, TruTech is a patented process—the only one of its kind—that manufactures super-durable paper that isn't synthetic. It looks, feels and prints like paper using traditional ink. "We laminate paper and films to create a three-ply construction," explains Mainthrow. "There's paper on both sides and film in the middle making it really durable."
Mainthow says that the basic benefits of a more rigid, non-synthetic paper are many: "You're getting the feel of paper and printability of paper. It also has the make-ready of paper and not film; it doesn't need dry time like synthetics."
He recalls one printer he's worked with who actually cut costs by 20 percent using TruTech. "He had a film-laminating process," he says. "But when he used the TruTech sheet with ink, he didn't have to laminate any more." He also explains an instance where a teacher's guide was being printed and the publisher needed the cover to be more durable. "The guide originally had an 18 pt. coated stock brand. We used a sheet in 14 pt. to reduce weight and give greater durability."
For the book market, Mainthow believes that TruTech also saves on distribution. "A TruTech cover won't be destroyed in shipping," he says. "Instead, it can handle rough freight handling without having to be replaced." He adds that interest is very strong in the book market for durable papers—whether for damaging environments in the case of waterproof books or even for textbooks that traditionally suffer wear and tear. "Interest comes from two sides," says Mainthow. "People who are using synthetic paper that can't take heat very well [will switch to TruTech because it] can take heat up to 400 degrees." He also suggests that publishers having trouble printing on synthetic sheets consider non-synthetics. "Synthetics can be very costly to print because they need special inks," he says.