Laser Watermarking Security with Microtrace, LLC

Share Article

Watermark security for synthetic papers such as PPG Teslin® is now possible.

Watermarked Teslin®

Watermarks created with our lasers provide ideal security. Item level customization and serialization is now possible. They are extremely challenging to reproduce or forge and are simple to verify with back illumination.

Microtrace LLC, the original taggant technology company, has been providing identification and authentication solutions since 1985. Microtrace’s solutions consist of taggant technologies, security labels and a laser division. Through its wide range of offerings, Microtrace can build custom solutions to fit the needs of their diverse customers.

Within the laser division, Microtrace designs, optimizes and manufactures laser systems with expertise in microscopic, covert security features and on the fly marking in-line at production speed.

Recently, Microtrace had a technology breakthrough - watermarking synthetic papers such as PPG Teslin® which until now, has been impossible to do.

The quality of Microtrace’s watermarks are similar to traditional currency watermarking. Like traditional watermarking, synthetic paper watermarks have low visibility under normal conditions and highly visible when back illuminated. A range of watermarks are possible – serialized barcodes, alphanumerics, microscopic markings, images, logos and more.

Synthetic Paper
Typical watermarking is not possible on synthetic paper (i.e. hydrophilic, polymeric, micro-porous structures having a multitude of pores), which is commonly used for secure documents due to its durability and difficulty to tear. A variety of hydrophilic, micro-porous and polymeric structures could be used as synthetic paper, including polyesters, polyvinyl halides, polyolefins and acrylics with micro-voided structure.

How Does it Work?
With laser technology, synthetic paper is 'watermarked' by deforming select portions of the micro-porous structure in a pattern corresponding to the mark and changing its light transmission characteristics. The laser beam’s radiant energy distorts the synthetic paper pores. With careful selection of laser parameters, such as wavelength, frequency, pulse duration and power level, this selective distortion could be done mostly sub-surface, affecting light transmission without significant change to the paper’s top layer. As with traditional watermarking, this technique has low visibility under normal conditions, but will become highly visible when back illuminated.

Additional Security Features for Synthetic Paper
As with any security solution, multiple levels of security are recommended. Microtrace’s Microtaggant® Identification Particles offer an additional level of security to synthetic papers. PPG has incorporated the Microtaggant into their Security-Grade Teslin for a number of years. The incorporation of the Microtaggant and watermarking in the PPG Teslin provides a level of security that is unmatched.

For more information, please visit

Teslin® is a registered trademark of PPG Industries, Ohio.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Kelly Jechorek
Visit website