Better in double

Better in double

In regions and countries with extreme circulation conditions, banknotes are exposed to correspondingly high stresses. The Hybrid™ substrate from Louisenthal offers a perfect synthesis of cotton and polymer that withstands taxing everyday conditions, especially for lower denominations. Now, with new Hybrid ADDvance®, integration of cutting-edge security features is equally possible across all values in a series, while retaining maximum stability and durability. A conversation with Astrid Drexler, Product Manager for High-Security Paper.

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Ms. Drexler, what does a church in a tropical or subtropical country have to do with the durability and security of banknotes?

At first glance very little, it would appear; but in fact what happens in the church has been an undeniable driver of innovation for us: In order to prevent the value of their collection box contribution from being identified by the person sitting behind, the churchgoers would crease and crumple their notes so much that there was inevitable damage to security features. Just one example…

…heat plus damp plus mechanical stress…

…have always presented important benchmarks for us, yes. We have to adjust to meet them, and can also use them to review, develop, and improve our offerings. However, as in the case of the example I mentioned, there are also specific cultural quirks that give us extremely valuable practical experience while at the same time illustrating the diversity and necessity of country-specific solutions.

“We are extending the ‘Hybrid principle’ to higher-value denominations and even full series” Astrid Drexler, Product Manager for High-Security Paper

Louisenthal is already offering the Hybrid banknote substrate, with particular target markets of countries and regions that have extreme climates and demanding circulation conditions. Now we are seeing a further evolution of this in the form of Hybrid ADDvance. Why is that needed?

It’s true that Hybrid already offers central banks a perfect synthesis of security and significantly extended service life for denominations that are subject to significant stress in everyday life. This combination is no less important than it ever has been – quite the opposite: With Hybrid ADDvance, we are extending the ‘Hybrid principle’ to higher-value denominations and even full series.

What does that mean specifically with respect to the integration of additional security features?

Hybrid ADDvance now makes it possible to integrate tried-and-tested features as well as innovations. It means that we are now able to integrate an attractive and intelligent secure window, namely a varifeye® ColorChange Patch, or that a foil element such as Rolling Star LEAD® can be included.

But it was already possible to apply foil elements to the surface with Hybrid™, wasn’t it?

Of course, but with Hybrid ADDvance both the substrate and features are now additionally protected. The composite structure means that the foil elements are now integrated under the protective film, which undoubtedly improves the robustness of these highly secure features many times over. The objective was to identify an encapsulating method that preserved both the vibrancy of the feature and printability of the surface – and that’s where Hybrid ADDvance succeeds.

Security and stability must be retained to the end.

That is of course the requirement that every central bank has of its banknotes, and is also in line with our own thinking; we feel that the market is demonstrating an ever-rising demand for durability. At the same time, we are firmly convinced that, for banknotes to be truly secure, security must be manifest in both the composite material itself and in the features used. That is how Hybrid and Hybrid ADDvance represent the embodiment of a counterfeit-proof banknote that is robust in both the traditional and modern sense of the word, because unlike the pure polymer note, security is actually inherent to it, rather than just being applied to a piece of plastic.

Resulting in a longer lifespan – does that also have an impact on sustainability?

Definitely. Hybrid notes are more resilient and durable in circulation so they do not need to be replaced as often – which saves money for central banks. Additionally, Hybrid and Hybrid ADDvance are both cotton-based substrates that are manufactured using byproducts from the textile industry; which means that our raw material is renewable as well as recycled, underlining our commitment to sustainable processes and production, along with the highest levels of security.