The term Poly or Polyethylene is a fancy word for plastic.

Here are some facts about polyethylene/polypropylene when used in ring binder construction:

  • Poly binder covers are die cut out of a single, solid sheet of polyethylene or polypropylene.
  • Polyethylene (PE) is the most common poly used for binders.  It comes in many colors.  Natural PE is similar in opacity to a gallon milk jug.
  • Polypropylene (PP) is typically used if a clear cover is desired.  PP comes in smooth, matte, and lined finishes, or a combination of these.  PP is softer than PE.  Smooth finish is not recommended for most binder applications, as it is easy to scuff and scratch.  PP can be tinted, but still remains clear.
  • Poly sheets are extruded in different gauges (thicknesses).  Typical PE gauges are .023, .035, and .055.  Heavier gauges, like .075, .095, and .110 are also used for larger, heavier duty binders.  The gauge is directly related to the cover’s flexibility.  The larger the binder, the heavier gauge material you’ll want.  PP typically is extruded in lower gauges (.015, .020, .030, .045).
  • There are about 15 “standard” colors of polyethylene available.

  • Sheets can also be extruded to match a specific PMS color.
  • Quantities over 1,000 can usually be color matched economically.
  • Post consumer recycled poly is available (80% min), at similar prices as virgin stock. It will have more color variance.  Poly is easily recyclable as well.
  • Hinges are usually cold scored in lighter gauges (.035 and below), and hot scored in heavier gauges.  Hot scoring allows the heavier gauge hinges to have more flexibility.  Poly binder hinges are rated for 100,000+ open/close cycles.
  • Ring Metals will be mounted to the spine or back with exposed rivets – no way to conceal.

Poly Binders are extremely durable.

  • Hard, solid material
  • Water resistant
  • Resists most solvents
  • Can be cleaned
  • Ideal for industrial and/or difficult environments

Large assortment of decorating techniques:

  • Screen printing – up to 4CP – 2 sided printing often done on natural and clear.
  • Offset  and digital 4CP printing on gauges of .035 and below
  • Natural and clear allow for creative designs by printing on inside.
  • Stamping
  • Die Cutting
  • Applique where two materials are sonic welded together (weld spots are visible)

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