Posted on October 20, 2013
Mylar is a brand name that has come to be commonly used when talking about biaxially oriented polyethylene terephthalate (BOPET) polyester film, much like people commonly say Kleenex when referring to tissues. Mylar is strong and transparent, often used as a coating on paper, giving it a wide range of uses. By the 1970s, Mylar had become DuPont's best-selling film. Mylar is now a product of a joint venture, DuPont Teijin Films.
DuPont says Mylar is used across the world "in the electrical, electronics, magnetic media, industrial specialty, imaging and graphics, and packaging markets."
Mylar Film was invented in 1954. It is the brand name of a polyester film made by DuPont. The name doesn't actually mean anything. The company "just liked the sound" of it, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. Anything with the name Mylar on it contains the DuPont-made material, as it is trademarked.
To make Mylar, super-heated polyethylene terephthalate () film is put on a roll and stretched. One side is smooth, but the other is not so that it can be applied more easily as a coating to various products, such as paper.
The shelf life of a Mylar Roll is tremendous. It is expected to last hundreds of years. It is not easily torn or worn out. Because of its strength and durability, Mylar is often used to protect maps and other paper items. It is used as a barrier layer so that people can write on it without damaging the actual map.
Mylar paper has a variety of uses, including the familiar top layer of a Polaroid as well as the backing of some sandpapers. Some large format printer engineers will call it mylar plotter paper as they get mylar for inkjet plotter printing to the end of inkjet plotter printed mylar ballons and more. DuPont says Mylar is used across the world "in the electrical, electronics, magnetic media, industrial specialty, imaging and graphics, and packaging markets." Mylar is also used to help preserve documents and other ephemera like collectible comic books. Because it is moisture-resistant, Mylar is used by the Library of Congress for the preservation of important papers. It also keeps pollutants, oils, acids and temperature changes at bay.