Blog about Laminators

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[09/05/2010] Types of laminators

The laminators vary greatly and can handle wide range of prints from passport photos to 80 inches wide posters; they also come in many different models, with various control options and can further be divided by the type of laminating film that they use.

The Pouch laminators are the ones that most people are familiar with since they are meant for everyday office use and are relatively inexpensive. They use pouches of laminating material, where the prints get inserted and then heat is applied to seal the film around the print – this process is known as encapsulating. In most cases the Pouch laminators can work with items up to 17 inches wide and the pouches are pre-made to match the size of the item that is being laminated. However, the pouches come in different thickness as well and that thickness is measured in mils (one mil = one thousand of the inch). The thicker pouches give greater durability of the print and make the finished product more rigid.

The Roll laminators are larger in size and they use laminating film instead of pouches; the print is passed between two rollers, which apply pressure to the laminating film and encapsulate the item. The Roll laminators are usually more expensive since they are faster, durable, and can handle items with much larger size; the industrial, high-end Roll laminators can work with prints up to 80 inches wide. The thickness of the used laminating films also varies and the most common used finishes are mate, satin and gloss. The gloss finish adds glaze, which is suitable for photos and other bright color prints, while the matte finish is slightly granular and provides minimal reflection and more clarity.

The Roll laminators are further divided into two types: Hot roll laminators and Cold roll laminators. The former use heat to melt the glue that binds the laminating film to the print; the Heated roll laminators can encapsulate the print in one go, but laminators with only one roller exist as well and they are meant for one side lamination only.

The Cold roll laminators are used for prints that are sensitive to heat; these are usually delicate items or prints with certain types of ink that can easily be smudged by the heat. The cold laminators use special films, which have one sticky surface – once the print is fed between the rolls, only pressure is used to stick the laminating film to the item.

Liquid laminators are used primarily for laminating rather large items that can be up to 16 feet long; these laminators have been initially created for handling solvent or oil based ink prints, but easily work with other types too. Most of the liquid laminators are quite large, with control panels, roller motors, and electric pumps that transfers the lacquer from the reservoir to the rollers.
Since the laminators come in all sizes, types and shapes, choosing one requires some planning: the cheapest models are usually sufficient for home use, but organizations that laminate large numbers and different size prints, should consider roll laminators, which are usually more expensive than the pouch laminators, but more cost effective in the long run.

Other articles from this category:

[09/05/2010] What is the biggest size print that I can laminate?

[09/05/2010] What is a laminating pouch carrier?

[09/05/2010] What thickness laminating pouch do I need?

[09/05/2010] What size laminating pouch is the best?

[09/05/2010] How does a pouch laminator work?

[09/05/2010] Which pouch laminator is the best?

[09/05/2010] Who are the big laminator manufacturers?

[09/05/2010] Why do we need to laminate?

[09/05/2010] Drytac JetMounter Laminator

[09/05/2010] Cold Roll Laminators

[09/05/2010] Heated roll laminators

[27/03/2011] What to look for before buying a laminator

[27/03/2011] How to maintain a roll laminator

[27/03/2011] How to use pouch laminators

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