Trends and Insights: There are various banknote substrates on the market. Why should central banks choose Hybrid?
Dr. Thomas Mang: Hybrid is ideal for challenging conditions. By uniting cotton and polymer, we have succeeded in creating a perfect composition. Hybrid combines proven security with a considerably longer service life – and the result is a banknote that is slow to soil, does not become limp, and yet still enjoys the trust of the population because of its similarity to the well-known cotton banknotes.
What does the combination of different materials actually look like?
The easiest way to understand the special structure of Hybrid is to imagine a cross-section. The inner cotton core is surrounded by a polymer film to which a special printable layer is applied.
So what sets Hybrid apart is that the combination includes plastic. Does this make it more resistant than cotton banknotes?
Yes, the thin polymer film protects the cotton core on both sides, improving its stability and ensuring a long service life. This means that Hybrid is well prepared for harsh climate and circulation conditions. Many countries check banknotes in automatic processing machines while they are in circulation. Because Hybrid banknotes are tougher, they also remain “fit” for this check for longer.
Why is an additional printable layer necessary?
There are two reasons. On the one hand, it enables the same outstanding print characteristics that banknote printers are familiar with from cotton paper. Otherwise lasting ink adhesion to a plastic that is frequently handled, folded, and worn in other ways is virtually impossible. We all know how ink wears off plastic bags as soon as they are exposed to heat and moisture, for instance. And on the other hand, the printable layer enables firm anchoring of the intaglio printing that is typical of banknotes. This gives Hybrid the familiar touch and feel of cotton notes, which is crucial to maintain the population’s trust in their currency.
Trust is also generated by counterfeit protection, isn’t it?
That’s right, and this is primarily ensured by the cotton core. It has almost the same grammage as traditional banknotes and can therefore be equipped with the proven security features, such as watermarks, security fibers, and embedded security threads. What is more, hidden, machine-readable security features are also integrated, which are essential to ensure maximum security for a currency.