What You Should Know about the Laminating Process

category_header_laminatingLaminating Basics

Laminating film consists of two layers, a base layer of: Polyester, OPP Polypropylene, Nylon, or Vinyl. And an inner adhesive resin layer that becomes liquid when it reaches an activating temperature. There are a wide variety of adhesives that are applied to the base materials depending on the application.

The material to be laminated is placed between two sheets of laminating film. The laminating machine melts the adhesive resin layer, which then spreads over the document, hardening as it cools and created a bond between the material and film.

Types of Laminating Machines

Laminating is well know to be one of the best ways to protect a document. The most durable form of laminating is with an overhang that completely surrounds the document for a watertight and airtight seal. Beyond that, there are many methods of laminating.

Laminators can vary in many ways. There is also a huge variety within laminates themselves. For this reason it is best to work with an expert when deciding what machine and laminate is the best mix for your specific application. Contact us today!

See article below for an explanation of laminate types.

Types of Laminating Films

Narrow Format for Desktop Laminators

Standard Laminating Rolls: This laminating film is sometimes referred to as “school film” and is available in 1.5 mil or 3 mil thickness. Standard film is a mono polymer film, which means there is one type of adhesive coating the base material. These films tend to have a high operating temperature and are the least expensive films. You might also hear this film referred to as “nap-lam l” which is a trade name for GBC.

Premium Laminating Film: This is a co-polymer film, which has a more aggressive adhesive than mono polymer film. It also operates at a lower melting temperature. GBC’s brand name for this is “nap-lam ll”. This film is normally available in 1.7, 3, 5 and 10 mil thickness.

Color-Bond Laminating Film: This is a specialty film formulated toner based color copier output. Color copies have fuser oils that allow the toner to adhere to the paper. The Standard mono-polymer and Premium co-polymer films we currently carry will not always work with color copier output. The problem magnified when customers have applications with heavy toner coverage and very dark colors that lay down a lot of toner on the paper.

Commercial Laminate for High-Speed, High-Volume Laminators

OPP Laminating Film: polypropylene (BOPP) based thermal films have excellent clarity and have durability to printed materials. Designed for single side lamination of offset printed graphics these films are available in a variety of sizes and finishes. Designed for applications that include book cover, dust jacket,s brochures and magazines, stock and custom sizes are available for all film types.

Lay Flat Laminating Film: Laminate is nylon based film that allows single sided laminated paper and graphics to adjust to humidity and help eliminate the curling of laminated books. Designed for applications that include book cover jackets, brochures and magazines, these will stay flat even in humidity conditions. Stock and custom sizes are available for all films.

Krystal Laminating Film: Krystal film is a polyester-based film providing excellent scuff, scratch and tears resistance. The film’s copolymer adhesive creates an excellent bond to a variety of offset printed stocks including coated sheets and prints with heavy ink coverage.

Hi-Tac Laminating Film: Provides superior adhesion and vibrant output for dry toner-based prints containing fuser oil. Hi-Tac adhesive is engineered to create a chemical bond that enables lamination immediately after printing. It’s ideal for high volume print shops requiring fast turnarounds to meet customers demands.

Wide Format Laminating and Mounting Films

Wide Format Thermal Laminating Film: This film has been designed for laminating paper based output from wide format inkjet printers. The inkjet printers come in sizes from 24″ wide to 72″ wide and the laminating film is sized to match hence the term wide format laminating. These prints have specific needs in laminating film. The most important aspect is special low-melt adhesive. These films have adhesive that operates at a melting temperature of 185°F. This is important to prevent out gassing of the inks that will cause de-lamination.

Platinum-Lam Wide Format Thermal Film: Specially engineered with UV inhibitors and Light-Fast technology to reduce graphic fade and protect against moisture. Platinum-Lam films feature adhesives that enhance clarity by sealing at 185°F. The films’ low temperature helps preserve inks in digitally printed graphics, which can deteriorate at high temperatures.

Gold-Lam Wide Format Thermal Film: An innovative product for the on-demand printing. A premium grade polyester base film that features an exclusive adhesive formulation for maximum adhesion to fuser oil base inks and wide format inkjet printed photo papers. Gold-Lam is cost-effective alternative offering high performance at a lower cost compared to other brands.

Pressure Sensitive (cold) Laminating Film: This film has been designed for laminating vinyl output from wide format inkjet printers. Generally these are used in the sign industry where most prints are done on vinyl based material rather than paper based. Although PSA film can be used with paper and other substrates the high cost makes its use in those applications less desirable.

Pressure Sensitive (cold) Mounting Adhesives: This film is used in conjunction with foam-core, gator foam or sintra boards, to temporarily or permanently mount graphics for display. You can use the mounting adhesive to pre-coat the board or you can apply the adhesive to the back of your print to create a large decal. Specialty mounting adhesives are even available for use in creating window graphics, floor graphics, out-door signage and for removable applications.

Mid-State Litho, Inc.
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507