Lamination is a broad term and can be confusing even
if you confine yourself to the field of film lamination
of printed materials. We've collected here, for those
who don't like to call, a compilation of some common
terms in our field.
Glossary of Laminating And Mounting
Glossy - These films offer superior clarity for brightly-colored or complex
Satin - Good choice for high clarity for brightly-colored or deep rich
Acrylic Adhesive: A type of pressure-sensitive adhesive most often
graphics with a moderate degree of reflection.
used on cold films.
Matte - Ideal for soft, mellow tones where surface light reflection
must be kept to an absolute minimum.
thermal film, the base is usually polyester. A laminating film is made by
Base or Film Base: The protective layer of a laminating film. In a
applying an adhesive to a base.
Co-Polymers: These are agents added to the polyethylene adhesive
Liners - What They Do
layer of a thermal film to lower its melt temperature, increase its
A clear liner attached to laminate film protects the film from damage
adhesion, and improve its clarity.
during processing, finishing, shipping, and installation (see pages 3, 4
Dry-Mounting: This is a thermal process which uses a heat-activated
and 6 for more information).
adhesive (dry mount tissue) to adhere the back of an image to foam
board, mount board or another paper-surface mounting substrate. It may
be done with a press or with some types of laminators. It has often been
A Word About Inks
used by framers in the art and photo markets.
For assured bonding, it is recommended that inks with wax, silicone, or
Melt Temperature: Typically, a range or a specific temperature at which
other lubricant additives be avoided. Also, beware of inks that may be
a thermal film or a dry mount adhesive is best applied.
heat-sensitive. When printing, keep offset spray powder to a minimum.
Nip: This is the line where the two laminating rollers press together and
If powder must be used, use a fine powder.
lamination takes place.
Polyester: This material is the base or outer protective layer of most
thermal laminating film. It does not melt during the thermal laminating
One-Sided, Two-Sided Laminations
process. It is also the base layer of many PSA films.
One-sided laminations: Stocks for one-sided laminations can include
Polyethylene: The adhesive almost always used in thermal films, it
most coated or uncoated paper stocks as well as most synthetic
liquifies during hot lamination. The lamination takes place in the nip.
materials. A ¾-inch trim guide and ¾-inch gripper are recommended for
Fans or chill rollers in the laminator help cool the adhesive so it
materials to be laminated.
becomes a flexible solid again.
Two-sided laminations: Two-sided flush trim lamination is often used to
prevent curling of the laminated material that can occur with one-sided
PSA: PSA is an abbreviation for pressure-sensitive adhesive. Pressure-
lamination and, of course, to protect the reverse side of the graphic.
sensitive adhesives will work cold or with some heat. Either acrylic or
Two-sided edge seal laminations are used to completely encapsulate
latex adhesives are generally used in PSA materials. Pressure-sensitive
the material preventing water, oils, or other fluids from damaging the
adhesive is used on clear laminating films, on sign vinyls and for
Substrate: Substrate means under-layer. It can refer to material we print
on, or the board we use to mount an image.
Vinyl: This material is used as the base of some clear PSA laminating
Laminate films are available in various thicknesses that are shown as
films. It is also used in colored sign materials.
mil, or millimeter values. The higher the mil value, the greater the
Web: A web is the unwinding width of plastic coming off a supply roll, or
thickness and rigidity of the film.
the continuous flow of laminate coming out the back of the laminator.
LaminatingServiceInc.com uses Laminates from Graphics Laminating & other sources.