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Lamination

Lamination is an additional technology in both printing and large format printing. Laminate is translated as ‘multi-layered’, that is, in essence, this is the creation of the second layer. Laminator is the equipment with which lamination is made. There is a lot of equipment so in this article we will analyze what types of lamination are available and what types of lamination films are used. As well as some features of the technology, its pros and cons.

In total, there are more than six types and methods of the lamination and they are used in construction and industry (laminate windows, metal, etc.). In printing and large format printing two types of lamination are used: cold and hot. Cold and hot lamination differ in the type of film that is used in the process but with the unaided eye the differences are almost invisible. The cold lamination is done by applying film pressure to the product: under pressure, the adhesive is activated and glues the lamination to the surface. In the hot lamination, the glue is heated to 90-120 degrees and then the film is glued to the surface.

Also, except for the types of the film, there is also a variety of equipment for the lamination. First, since all types of the equipment consist of shafts, the laminators are divided into one, two and three-shaft. Secondly, according to the degree of automation, the laminators are automatic, semi-automatic and manual.

In the equipment for the cold lamination, the main factor is the degree of pressure and the speed of rotation of the shaft. In the equipment for the hot lamination, the important factors are: setting the heating level, automatic shutdown, the degree of pressure, the reverse shaft movement, if the film is chewed, and the speed of rotation of the shaft. Any laminators require periodic service. If it is not done, the uniformity of pressure, heating, or rotational speed is lost which may affect the quality of the lamination of the products. Also, the equipment has a different width of the surface for the lamination: one can have an A3 format limitation, the other can reach 1.6 meters in width which makes it possible to laminate a large-format print. Accordingly, the equipment can be divided into the laminators for digital or offset printing and the equipment for large format printing.

Another important point is that the lamination is divided into the roll one and the folder one. The roll type consists of a roll of film which is first mounted on the shafts and unwound as the sheets laminate. The folder lamination consists of an envelope in which the product is inserted. It is used only for the double-sided lamination while the roll can laminate both one and two sides. For the lamination of the second side in a coiled manner, the product is turned over and the lamination operation is repeated.

Now let's deal with the types of the film for the lamination. Classically, they are divided into glossy and matte. With the glossy lamination, the color rendition is juicy and bright and the surface acquires additional shine. However, there are also disadvantages: unnecessary glare is created, the product becomes more subjected to stains, the tracks of the fingerprints are clearly visible. Matte film eliminates the glare, allows you to write on the surface and erase inscriptions with an ordinary eraser. Most often, it is used to make the printing effect of ‘high cost’. Among the minuses - matte lamination darkens and distorts color reproduction. Also glossy and matte lamination come in different densities, which are measured in microns. The density is conditionally thin, medium and thick (from 24 to 250 microns). In addition to these two classic types, there are other types of the film which is textural: sand, canvas, flax, hybrid, champagne splashes, cloth and other types. They are rarely used due to the high cost and complexity of the lamination, or else you have to be specifically skilled for it.

Now we will analyze what the film for the lamination consists of. Modern types of the film consist of three layers. The first layer of polyester (PET) is the basis of the film which gives it rigidity and resilience. The second layer is polyethylene (PE) which serves as a link for the lamination. The third layer is polymer glue (EVA) which adheres the film to the surface. These technical nuances are boring, so let's say in simple words - there are many manufacturers of the film for the lamination, and, accordingly, the quality of the film is different, although it consists of the same parts.

What is lamination used for and what types of products can be laminated? Lamination is used for such purposes: an increase in the service life of the product, protection against physical damage, protection against breaking the paper, aesthetic appearance and beauty. You can laminate a lot of things but most often they are: printing paper from coated paper, stickers on self-adhesive paper and films. In a more understandable language, these are: menus, business cards, stickers, posters, film for covering vehicles, shop windows and floors, certificates, plastic cards, badges, packaging, calendars, boxes, covers of notebooks, catalogs, brochures, magazines and other types of printing.

We in the advertising agency ‘Vmeste’ work with any kind of lamination: hot, cold, single and double sided, glossy, matte or texture, roll and folder, so you can contact us, we will be happy to help you.

 

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