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Expanding Possibilities with Innovative Lightweight Inkjet Papers

Domtar’s 22- and 27-pound ultra-lightweight inkjet papers provide high opacity and quick drying abilities for excellent results.

Imagine being able to print pharmaceutical inserts on demand using digital printing technology, or making it possible for financial services companies to print thousands of mail-ready, personalized investment prospectuses in minutes. Our line of TitaniumJET lightweight inkjet papers are ideal for these and many other inkjet printing applications that require ultra-lightweight papers.

“Inkjet printing technology is no longer something printers are just considering getting into; it has become a matter of survival for many printers. It is at least a portion of what most printers are doing, if not the sole printing process for some shops,” says Howard Hunter, director of technical and business development for Domtar Specialty Paper. “With our unique line of ultra-lightweight inkjet printing papers, we’re well positioned to serve our customers who are focused on growing their business with high-speed inkjet printing technology.”

What Makes Our Lightweight Inkjet Papers Unique?

When we began researching, developing and testing lightweight inkjet papers, our Domtar Specialty Paper team asked for input from representatives of inkjet printer manufacturers (OEMs). What characteristics are required for a good inkjet paper? What challenges exist with lightweight papers? And what would be necessary to create a successful product for lightweight inkjet printing applications?

“At first they expressed concern that the equipment would not be able to handle such a lightweight sheet, because no one had yet produced an inkjet-compatible product of that weight and quality for inkjet printers,” Hunter says. “Additionally, there was concern for excessive ink strike-through and cockle.”

An ideal ultra-lightweight inkjet paper must print efficiently — holding the ink on the sheet surface to yield excellent ink density while not allowing strike-through or excessive dot gain. It also must run through the printer without jamming or curling.

“Our paper machines are somewhat unique, as they were originally designed to make a very lightweight product that had an extremely high sheet density,” says Hunter. “These capabilities, along with special fiber selection and paper-surface treatments, allow us to create a very well-formed base sheet specifically designed for ultra-lightweight inkjet printing.”

The result of this process is a smooth, lightweight paper that has high opacity and excellent uniformity to avoid ink bleed-through. The treated paper also allows the ink to stay on the surface and dry quickly to produce a crisp image that won’t smear or run. These characteristics enable us to offer some of the lightest-weight inkjet printing papers available on the market.

“Our Domtar Specialty Papers group manufactures paper in basis weights from 40-pound down to 22-pound, and we are proud to be the only producer of functional 22- to 27-pound ultra-lightweight inkjet papers in North America,” Hunter says.

New Papers Create New Inkjet Printing Opportunities

The introduction of lightweight inkjet papers opens up a whole new realm of opportunities for lightweight printing operations. Personalization and customization, for example, are currently trending, with everything from Bibles to insurance brochures now customizable with customer names and personal information like family trees or account details.

The ability to make last-minute digital printing changes and provide on-demand turnarounds with virtually no waste are other inkjet printing benefits that could prove useful for many projects, including the printing of pharmaceutical inserts.

“Once a company gets the go-ahead from the FDA to manufacture a new drug, for example, they want production of pharmaceutical inserts to start up immediately,” says Hunter. “This can mean a demand for 24-hour turnaround of as many as a million inserts. Getting from the word ‘go’ to ‘ready to print’ is almost immediate with digital inkjet printers.”

Creating great products that meet customer demands is part of our overall business goal, and lightweight inkjet papers are just one more way we’re innovating and expanding our product line to meet today’s growing printing demands.

Contact us to learn more about lightweight inkjet papers.

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