Collection Studio 4.72
[ release date: March 31, 2016 ]
Polymer banknotes and other non paper bills
Polymer banknotes were developed by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and were first issued as currency in Australia in 1988. These banknotes are made from the polymer biaxially-oriented polypropylene (BOPP) which greatly enhances durability of the banknotes. Polymer banknotes also incorporate many security features not available to paper banknotes, making counterfeiting much more difficult.
An alternative polymer of polyethylene fibres marketed as Tyvek by DuPont was developed for use as currency by the American Bank Note Company in the early 1980s. Tyvek did not perform well in trials, smudging of ink and fragility were reported problems. Only Costa Rica and Haiti issued Tyvek banknotes (test notes were produced for Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras and Venezuela but never placed in circulation); additionally, English printers Bradbury Wilkinson produced a version on Tyvek but marketed as Bradvek for the Isle of Man in 1983; however, they are no longer produced and have become collectors' items.
Because the polymer bank note contains many security features that cannot be successfully reproduced by photocopying or scanning, it is very difficult to counterfeit. The complexities of counterfeiting polymer banknotes are proposed to act as a deterrent to counterfeiters.