Zodia® Printing Recommendations
Zodia® is a synthetic paper that is waterproof and 100% recyclable with attributes and properties
that make it the perfect solution for a variety of graphic, packaging, labeling and design needs. It
is manufactured by the calendering process that begins with the extrusion of polypropylene
pellets and combining polypropylene with other chemical ingredients. The result is an extremely
durable, dimensionally stable, synthetic printing paper that’s water repellent, flexible, tear
resistant, scuff-resistant, and chemical resistant.
This technical guide was developed as part of our proactive focus on educating our customers
to assist them at each stage of their synthetic project. If you have any questions, suggestions, or
ideas about this or any other matter, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-263-5995 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Initial Project Planning
• Pre-test with samples of Zodia® using the intended design, inks, coatings, varnishes,
adhesives, laminations, binding methods, and finishing techniques. Ink draw down is
• Discuss each project (application) with your suppliers and ask for their recommended
• Confirm the compatibility of the fountain solution making sure that it is compatible for
printing oxidizing inks on a synthetic substrate.
• Avoid the following pigments if applying an aqueous coating because the color may burn
out: red-lake C, warm red, reflex blue, purple, violet, rhodamines. Fluorescent and
metallic inks are not recommended. Your ink supplier can provide substitute pigments
that will be more stable.
• Consider the grain direction for finishing operations such as folding, scoring and
perforating. Zodia® is supplied grain long unless otherwise specified.
• Set aside enough delivery boards to be able to rack jobs on 4-inch lifts.
• Avoid inside die-cuts less than or equal to 90 degrees. A 1/16″ rounded corner is
recommended. This also includes binding.
• Allow for at least 24 hours to acclimate to pressroom conditions before unwrapping.
• A minimum 24 hours of dry time should be expected between printing the first and
second side on two-sided jobs.
• Compensate for 4 – 7% more dot gain, between the quarter and three-quarter tone, than
on coated papers.
• Use Under Color Removal (UCR) and Grey Component Replacement (GCR) whenever
• Avoid Total Area Coverage (TAC) greater than 300% if possible.
• Use sharp, nick-free blades when trimming.
The ink/water balance when printing Zodia® is more critical than when printing on conventional
paper stocks. Zodia® does not absorb water and therefore very little water is needed (probably
less than half of that required to print paper). The plate requires only enough water to keep the
surface wet and any more will only cause problems.
• Run speed is typically not more than 7,000 impressions per hour.
• Use the thinnest ink, coating, varnish—film-thickness. Solid ink density targets: K-1.65;
• On two side print jobs, print the side with the lower amount of ink coverage first.
• Zodia® does not have the exact same finish on both sides of the sheet. Matching an
image can be achieved by increasing the ink density on the rougher side.
• Dry dust on any available open units to remove filler dust from the surface of the sheet.
• Use the thinnest possible film-thickness of aqueous coating or overprint varnish.
• Wind the loads soon after the ink sets.
• The side of the form with the lighter ink coverage should be printed first.
• If using an aqueous coating, wind the loads within one hour after printing and again
within four hours.
• Add dryer to the ink, particularly with forms having light ink coverage, and use take-off
bars to prevent over-emulsification.
• For best results, use a freshly mixed alcohol-based fountain solution. Alcohol substitute
may be used as well. Avoid etches or substitutes that contain high percentages of
glycerin because they retard drying. Do not use fountain solution stimulator driers.
• Use metal plates that carry minimal water. Do not use paper or polyester plates.
• Maintain fountain solutions between 4.5 – 5.5pH.
• If backing up, avoid using drying agents on the first side printed, or wind quickly after the
• To avoid static, maintain 50% to 55% relative humidity. Also, use anti-static equipment
such as ionizing air units at the feeder and/or delivery.
• To avoid marking, minimize pressure of suckers and feeder-board wheels/brushes.
• Wash blankets to remove filler-dust, typically 2,000 to 3,000 sheets, or as ink density
decreases in the shadow-tones.
1. Rack the lifts on one-piece delivery boards up to 4 inches, depending on the amount of
2. Printed sheets should fall gently onto the pile.
3. Do not use encapsulated spray powder.
4. Spray powder volume should be the same as when running a premium matte-coated
5. For most jobs, use 20 to 25 micron particle size spray powder.
6. To avoid set-off, move/wind the printed loads with care.
7. Wind the lifts after ink sets to promote drying and to avoid gas ghosting on backside.
8. Re-rack winded lifts in small piles.
9. Pile temperature should be run at 95°F; IR dryers and air knives should be used.
The success of your project depends upon your ability to communicate with all involved
parties/companies: designer, printer, Zodia®, fountain solution, ink, coating, varnish, finisher.
Moreover, each supplier should be consulted prior to production about the details of the project.
This includes communicating your expectations (fade resistant, alcohol resistant, scuff resistant,
shelf life, etc.) of the project and letting them recommend their products for you.
Post Press Recommendations
1. Always test adhesives, the design, laminations and bindery processes prior to actual
2. Dies, drill bits, and blades must be sharp and nick-free to prevent tears from developing.
3. Do not exceed one-inch stack height when drilling, otherwise Zodia® may distort or melt.
4. Zodia® folds and perforates better perpendicular to the grain direction.
5. Avoid folds that cause air entrapment.
6. Due to the waterproof nature of the stock, hot melt glue or double-sided tape is required
7. Zodia® can be perfect bound. PUR adhesive is recommended, especially when the
entire book is made of Zodia®.
8. Store printed loads in a clean, climate controlled environment.
Aqueous Coating Recommendations
Aqueous coatings formulated for Zodia® can successfully be used. Note: Most work and turn
coatings are seal-coats, therefore, they would seal off oxygen from the oxidizing inks and
prevent the inks from drying. However, coatings formulated for Zodia® are porous, like a primer;
therefore, oxygen can permeate through the aqueous coating, dry the inks, and then come back
out of the aqueous coating. Contact coating suppliers for product recommendations.
• A press equipped with an extended delivery should be able to successfully run aqueous
• Aqueous coating should not be run in-line on a press with a short delivery unless
recommended by the supplier.
• Strictly adhere to the manufacturer’s specifications (viscosity, pile height and
temperature, winding instructions, compatibility concerns).
• Maximize airflow, not necessarily heat, to ensure complete drying of the coating.
• Pay close attention to the pile temperature: side one: 95°-100°F; side two: 90°-95°F.
• Maximum lift size should be 3 inches.
• Minimize the use of spray powder. You may want to use coarser powder on second side.
• Wind the lifts within 45 minutes to prevent set-off and to assist drying.
• More attention and control is required for two-sided aqueous jobs.
• Top side must be completely dry and cool before coating the second side.
• Decrease press speed on second side.
• Apply less coating, with a lower viscosity, on the second side. Check with coating
manufacturer for specific recommendations.
• Wind the lifts within 45 minutes to prevent set-off and to assist drying. Do not stack piles after winding – re-rack on delivery boards.
We are always interested in how Zodia® is being used in the marketplace and we would love to
receive a sample of your work.
Please send finished samples to:
Have Our Plastic Inc.
4 – 2825 Argentia Road