Banknote Durability Testing

In order to keep reprinting costs to a minimum, a key driver for banknote substrates is to make the paper as robust as possible, so as to withstand the physical, environmental and chemical abuse that notes may suffer when in use.

Typically 95% of all banknotes manufactured are printed simply to replace the worn-out and damaged notes that have been removed from circulation.*

Classical banknote paper is made of 100% cotton; cotton paper is superior in both strength and durability to wood pulp-based paper. Durability can be further enhanced by varnish coatings, the addition of artificial fibers and polymer lamination. Fully polymer based banknotes such as the biaxial oriented polypropylene Guardian TM substrate, although initially more expensive to produce, can have greater longevity.

Smithers Pira offers a vast range of tests to assess the physical, surface and durability performance of banknotes, including stiffness, resistance to tear propagation, crumpling resistance, fold endurance and simulated environmental aging.

Testing is complemented by a critical assessment of security features before and after durability testing


*Source: The Future of Banknote Technology to 2024, Smithers Pira.