Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 23
the top and/or bottom of flat and dry
sheets, wood, glass, acrylic, plastic,
sheet metal and more. We'll add that
because of the cost factors, many
producers of numerous commercial
vehicle wraps prefer liquid laminate.
COLD OR HOT?
Cold-roll laminators comprise a set
of rollers that pressure-adhere the
laminate film to the print. Today,
you can order cold-laminate films
for virtually every application, but be
advised that the cost for cold-laminate
film may be higher than for hot-laminate film. A key advantage is that no
heat will be applied; therefore, a cold
laminator should process virtually
any flat media.
Hot laminators are like cold laminators but feature heating elements
within the rollers for heat-activated
adhesive films. As mentioned above,
heat-activated films cost less than
equivalent cold films but the machines
are higher priced and may require
an exclusive power source. Choosing
a dual-function hot/cold laminator
may be the best of both worlds.
An alternative to traditional roll
laminators are flatbed roller tables
that cold laminate images, apply
pre-mask over cut vinyl, or mount
a printed graphic to a flat board.
Whichever you choose, ensure that
your roll laminator width matches
or exceeds the widest media your
printer will process.
For such applications as vehicle
wraps, lamination is a real necessity,
but study both the media and ink
manufacturers' fact sheets and warranties to determine what type of
laminate is required and if the media
warranty holds if you vary the laminate method or type. Consider the
calamity if, during weather temperature extremes, the installed laminate
shrinks or expands at a rate different
than the printed vinyl.
If your shop has a wide-format
printer, adding a laminator makes
sense; if you intend to buy a printer,
add a laminator to your list. Once
you have one, you'll find laminate
applications that enhance your print
handiworks and help you sell a wider
variety of products.
STARLAM 1600R LIQUID
GFP 800 DH SERIES
BY GRAPHIC FINISHING PARTNERS
SIGNS OF THE TIMES