How To Protect Your Papers With Film Laminating
Certainly, the concept behind film lamination is easily understood. It simply boils down to taking the extra steps that are necessary to preserve documents in order to increase their life expectancy as the years roll on by applying a thin, clear plastic covering. While many establishments exist that offer professional laminating services, there are those who prefer to buy the necessary tools that will allow them to apply this protective coating themselves, in order to save on…
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Certainly, the concept behind film lamination is easily understood. It simply boils down to taking the extra steps that are necessary to preserve documents in order to increase their life expectancy as the years roll on by applying a thin, clear plastic covering. While many establishments exist that offer professional laminating services, there are those who prefer to buy the necessary tools that will allow them to apply this protective coating themselves, in order to save on the costs of contracting a professional laminator. In order to take on such a task, however, it’s best to arm yourself with a few of the “tricks of the trade” that will ensure a smoother, easier process and a more attractive result.
The “Dos” of Film Laminating
1. If you’re planning to do cold laminating , then it’s important to remember that the curing time is about 24 hours. If the prints aren’t allowed to sit flat for the proper amount of time before mounting, then you won’t achieve maximum adhesion, and the result will be less-than-perfect prints.
2. If, on the other hand, the plan is to use thermal lamination, then be sure to leave a menu edge for prints with a heavy ink coverage.
3. Be sure to allow adequate time for the printed documents to dry before applying the lamination. No less than four hours should be given to this part of the process, in order to ensure optimum results.
4. Do your best to control the level of humidity in the area where the prints are being processed. If that’s not possible, then take the time to use a hair dryer in order to remove any lingering moisture.
5. Although you may choose to apply a cold laminant, it’s best to use some heat during the process. By ensuring that the top roller remains at 120 degrees Fahrenheit, the lamination will enjoy greater adhesion.
6. After practicing for a bit on some extra prints, make it a habit to rub down the printed documents with isopropyl alcohol before the lamination process begins. This can be accomplished by pouring a bit of the alcohol onto a soft cloth and gently wiping the print, re-wetting the cloth when necessary.
7. In order to acquire a higher level of quality for your finished prints, use low-melt laminating film and increase the temperature to about 210 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, you can either double or triple the speed, depending upon what provides a better result for the particular print and laminator that’s being used.
A Few Laminating “Don’ts”
1. Don’t make the mistake of using excessive heat or running the laminator at too slow a rate, or delamination will be the result.
2. Laminators should never be left idle when the temperature is on, or they’ll develop hot spots which will cause bubbling in hotter areas and silvering in those that are cold.
3. Just because the ink doesn’t feel wet doesn’t mean that the print hasn’t become overly moistened by too much humidity. Under those conditions, the print will actually absorb moisture, which should be eliminated before laminating.
4. Prints and laminating supplies ( http://www.laminating-guide.com/laminating-supplies.html ) should never go outdoors without having the extra protection of menu edging or edges that have been sealed with outdoor waterproof tape.
For those who are new to the print lamination process, the necessary supplies can be obtained through print retailers, and are also for sale through internet searches. The particular tools that may be necessary for such an enterprise include a lamination machine, cartridge, hot and cold adhesives and other miscellaneous items.
Understand that, for the novice, film laminating can sometimes be frustrating – and expensive – until the techniques are perfected and the desired results are achieved. In the meantime, exercise patience and realize that much of the process can call for a bit of experimentation as you go along.
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