Rolled cartridge of laminated film into the machine by dambibi

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									Lamination is simply the process of enveloping a document between two
layers of plastic film and sealing its edges in order to provide a level
of protection against outside influences that may cause damage. Photos,
posters, letters, certificates and cards are all examples of documents
that commonly utilize such a technique, and the items can either be
produced professionally or with special laminating products that are used
in the home.

Of the different types of laminators that are available, those which use
the process of thermal (or heat) lamination are actually layers of film
which are constructed of a polyester base and resin. During the heating
process, the resin layer melts and is then spread across the surface of
the print through the means of pressure. Once spread, the adhesive begins
to cool, hardening as it goes, in order to form a permanent bond between
the film and the print.

There are several types of laminating machines, each using different
kinds of laminators. The easiest of these will allow you to feed the
document into a laminating machine, where it comes into contact with the
adhesive, which are then pressed together by rollers or - in some cases -
an oversized plate.

Using the Proper Laminator

+ Depending upon the material of the print to be protected, certain
laminators must be used in order to complete the job correctly. That
being the case, it's important to match the correct type of laminator
with the particular material that's being used. In other words, prints of
paper, wood or fabric are going to require different types of laminators.

+ Due to the steps that are necessary to successfully laminate a print,
it's important to know the size of the document. Since lamination pouches
are used during part of the process, you'll need to ensure that these are
a proper fit before the technique can be successfully completed.

+ The frequency in which you use the lamination machine and the size of
the jobs should be considered, as well. If you plan to use it on a daily
basis, or for large lamination jobs, then it's best to invest in a heavy
duty laminating machine. For particularly large jobs, you might be better
off obtaining an industrial machine.

+ Thickness is an important consideration, as well, since prints that are
of a thicker nature will need to utilize a spring-loaded roller in order
to be fed through the machine properly. The advantage to this type of
tool is that it will automatically adjust to the thickness of the
material that's being introduced.

+ Machines that are equipped with a stand-by mode and a readiness
indicator are best for those times when you're planning to use them
throughout the day, such as in an office environment.

Hot Lamination
Different jobs will require specific types of laminators - either hot or
cold - depending upon the material and desired effect.

+ For documents that are up to 20" in width, pouch laminators are used.
Photographs, ID tags and other jobs that are of similar size would do
best using this approach.

+ You'll need to use a roll laminator if you're planning to process
prints that are between 20" and 60" wide and 1" in thickness.

+ Dry mounting is the most expensive of the three types, and is performed
by using a tissue adhesive as well as precise heat and pressure
regulations, in addition to the necessary time that it takes to apply a
substrate to the product. Specialized machinery needs to be used in order
to perform this technique, and is often used in professional print shops.

Cold Lamination

Tape lamination uses a cold version of adhering a protective plastic film
to the print. By inserting a pre-wound, rolled cartridge of laminated
film into the machine and introducing the document, both the adhesives
and the print are pulled into the machine with two rollers after pushing
a button or using a hand crank. These types are often used in the home
environment, office, photo-finishing labs and sign shops.

Various Types of Finishes

There are five basic finishes that can be applied to a laminated product.
Depending upon the type of effect that you wish to produce will determine
the best finish for the job.

+   Standard Clear - produces a glossy finish
+   Satin - reduces glare without frosting
+   Matte - applies a slightly frosted finish
+   Crystal - produces a granular texture
+   Scratch Resistant - hard finish for extra protection

With the right tools, you can produce a variety of high quality products
that are suitable for framing, posting or inserting into a binding that
houses keepsakes. Laminated documents are also more professionally
protected when prepared for packaging, in the event that documents must
be transported through mailing or shipping services.

								
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