What is a laminated film made of
How does lamination work?
Documents, business cards, tags, ID cards or photos can be quickly and safely protected from environmental influences, dirt, dust and damage using a very simple technique. The technique is called lamination and not only has a practical use, but is also very popular in the craft sector.
Great little works of art can be created in the blink of an eye, from placemats to coasters for glasses and pots to bookmarks or mouse pads.
How does lamination work?
When laminating, an object is embedded between a thin film. The process in which the object is connected to the film layers with the help of an adhesive is known as lamination. A distinction is made between two methods of lamination, namely between hot and cold lamination.
Both methods are based on the same principle, the decisive difference is the temperature:
· At the Hot lamination there is a thermal connection between the object and the laminating film. For this purpose, the laminating film is coated with an adhesive that is activated at a temperature between 60 and 80 degrees Celsius. The heat effect melts the adhesive and the interaction with pressure causes the film and the object to be pressed together to form the laminated object.
· At the Cold lamination the laminating film is coated with an adhesive that is activated at room temperature. No heat exposure is therefore necessary with cold lamination. Instead, the connection is created here only by the pressure when pressing together. To prevent the film from sticking together prematurely, laminating films for cold lamination are equipped with protective paper. This protective paper is peeled off during lamination.
Laminated objects are water-resistant, protected from dirt and abrasion and can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Since the laminating film can practically no longer be removed, laminated objects can hardly be processed afterwards and thus also cannot be forged.
Documents that have been laminated in are sometimes not recognized by offices and authorities, because the authenticity of the documents can then often no longer be checked. The same can happen if someone laminates their monthly or annual public transport ticket or their season ticket for public institutions.
What do you need for lamination?
In addition to the object that is to be laminated, laminating film is the most important utensil for laminating. Laminating foils are usually available as so-called laminating pouches. These are foils that are folded in the middle. The center fold can serve as a guide to straighten the object.
Laminating films are available in various thicknesses, the thickness usually being specified in micrometers. Common abbreviations for this are µm, µ, Mi, Mic and Mü. The information always refers to one side of the film. Since laminating foils are folded up like a pocket, an object that is laminated into a 50 µm foil is 100 micrometers plus the thickness of the object.
Laminating devices are mostly used to laminate. Simple laminators for home use are available for less than 20 euros. The devices can be used for both cold and hot laminating. However, only a few passes are possible in the home lamination process, because after about half an hour, hobby laminators switch off and can only be used again when they have cooled down.
In contrast, professional laminators are also suitable for continuous use. In addition, they are able to laminate significantly larger areas in a much shorter time. For conventional use in the private and handicraft sector, simple laminating devices are still completely sufficient.
Can I laminate without a laminator?
A laminator makes lamination very easy and convenient. After all, the object only needs to be placed in the foil pouch and aligned as desired. Then the filled foil pouch is pushed through the laminating device and after a short moment the laminated object comes out on the other side.
However, a laminating device is not absolutely necessary, because both cold and hot lamination are basically also possible without a device:
· A credit card, ruler or similar object with a straight edge should be used as an aid for cold lamination. No other tools are required. The object is now placed in the foil pouch and aligned as required. The protective paper is then peeled off a little at the point where the two layers of film are connected to one another.
With the check card or another auxiliary tool, the film is then firmly pressed together with the object where the paper has been peeled off and at the same time smoothed out. When smoothing out the film, moderate pressure should always be applied from the center to the edges. But it is important to proceed really carefully so that no unsightly air bubbles form. Gradually, the entire protective paper is peeled off and the laminating film is smoothed out.
With hot lamination, the iron replaces the laminator. To do this, the object is placed between the hot lamination film and aligned. In order to protect the iron and not to damage the foil, the whole thing is then covered with a thick piece of cloth or a towel.
Then iron the surface with a lot of pressure. The heat activates the adhesive, melts and the film bonds to the object. The temperature at which the iron must be set depends on how thick the foil is. The thicker the film, the higher the temperature must be. Information on this can be found on the packaging. The quite high pressure when ironing is necessary to avoid air bubbles. This is because these can practically no longer be removed.
More tips, instructions and advice:
Topic: How does lamination work?
Norbert Scheue, 47 years, plastic process engineer, Yvonne Niemann, 38 years, media designer in digital and print, Gerd Vogel, 42 years, PG cutter and advertising technician, as well as Ferya Gülcan, editor and operator of this site, write interesting facts, tips and instructions here on the subject of foils, adhesive films, plastics, labels and stickers for private or commercial use. Show all posts by the editorial team
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