Teslin® is a waterproof synthetic printing medium manufactured by PPG Industries that works well with an inkjet printer, laser printer, aerosol jet, or thermal printer. Teslin® is a single-layer, uncoated film, and extremely strong. This material is easily recyclable and non-toxic making it an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional PVC products. The strength of the lamination peel of a Teslin® sheet is 2-4 times stronger than other coated synthetic and coated papers. Available thicknesses run from 7 mil to 18 mil, though only sizes 10 mil and 14 mil are sized at 8.5" by 11" for printing with most consumer printers. Also available are perforated versions, specifically, 1up, 2up, 3up, 6up, and 8up.
Teslin® is used widely in the production of driver's licenses, voter ID cards, and other forms of identification cards. Teslin® is commonly used for producing waterproof maps, door hangers, flash cards, horticultural tags, parking permits, and more.
Teslin® is also widely used in the plastic gift and loyalty card industry. In 1984, the first Teslin®-based plastic card was produced by Ron Goade. This was done by laminating the Teslin® substrate after having been printed on and then die cutting multiple cards out of the laminated sheet of Teslin®. Millions of plastic cards using this process are produced every year by multiple businesses.
There are various grades of Teslin® available, each with their own use case depending on printing method and end use. Most grades of Teslin® can be used with an offset press, but other types of printing require their own grades to ensure compatibility. Teslin grades are referred to as a letter and number designation (e.g. "SP 1000"). The letters are the type of Teslin®, and the numbers represent the thickness where 1000 is 10 mil, 600 is 6 mil, 700 is 7 mil, etc.
The Synthetic Printing (SP) grade of Teslin® is the standard grade of Teslin®. It's ideally used with an offset press or pigment-based inks in an inkjet printer. It should not be used with dye-based inks. Because this is the standard grade of Teslin®, it is available in the greatest number of thicknesses: 6 mil, 7 mil, 8 mil, 10 mil, 12 mil and 14 mil.
The Synthetic Printing (SPID) grade of Teslin® is ideal for use with laser printers. SPID grade is coated on both sides to enable the sheets to be fed into and through laser printers and copiers. It is normally available in 10 and 14 mil thicknesses.
The IJ-WP grade of Teslin® is specifically made for use in both dye- and pigment-ink-based inkjet printers. It should not be used in any other print process. The only standard version of IJ-WP Teslin® is IJ1000WP (10 mil thick). IJ-WP Teslin® is coated on both sides to allow ink to set. Like all other grades of Teslin®, it is waterproof once the ink has set. This grade of Teslin is most popular for creating waterproof maps and signage.
The Digital grade of Teslin® is made to be used in digital printing presses. It is available in 10 mil thickness.