The world’s first polymer banknote

>> Tuesday, 3 June 2008

After plastic cards it is time to polymer banknote.

For hundreds of years, banknotes have been made from rag-based paper. Today, banknote issuers are faced with the challenge of increasingly sophisticated counterfeiting techniques and there are serious doubts that paper remains a viable material for secure banknotes.
CSIRO’s expertise in polymer and synthetic chemistry was used to develop a non-fibrous and non-porous plastic film, which the banknotes are printed on. This substrate gives high tear initiation resistance, good fold characteristics and a longer lifetime than paper.
The substrate and the specially-developed protective overcoat prevent the absorption of moisture, sweat and grime so that the polymer banknotes stay cleaner.
CSIRO has also developed a variety of overt and covert security features for use on polymer banknotes. These security features are produced from a combination of spectroscopic techniques, synthetic chemistry, nanotechnology, surface science microstructure manipulation and polymer chemistry.

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