In homes, schools, and offices, lamination generally consists of attaching a fixed plastic wrapper or cover to a particular item or paperwork. This is usually done to safeguard it against damage, ensuring that it remains in good condition for as long as possible. The resulting plastic coat or film encapsulating the document can also help enhance colors and improve the overall presentability. More than that, lamination provides a clean surface that can be temporarily marked up with dry-erase markers.
There are a wide range of laminating machines on the market, ranging from compact, inexpensive desktop versions to larger, costlier industrial variations. Generally, industrial machine laminators are capable of accommodating an array of temperature settings and document sizes. These laminators will feature more than one set of rollers to achieve a flawless finish in increasingly demanding applications. More than that, a majority of laminating machines come in three primary configurations.
Film laminators take advantage of two separate layers of laminating film, and they implement the top layer into the laminator mechanism itself. Items are situated on a bottom layer of the film and fed into the machine where hot rollers automatically align and compress a separate top layer as the items are moving through the device. They are often used in flexible, large-scale production environments that require items to be processed with haste.
Pouch laminators are the most common form of desktop-type laminating machine, and they are found in many day-to-day scenarios, such as at-home laminating projects. Before a document can be fed into a pouch laminator, one must give the laminator ample time to heat up. Once it is ready, the document can be inserted inside a clear plastic pouch or wallet lined with an adhesive, and then placed through the machine where hot rollers form a sealed cover.
Cold laminators are non-heating laminating machines that are good for documents or items that are sensitive to high temperatures or may experience damage during the standard hot lamination process. Some common examples of such items include many types of vinyl or adhesives, carbon copies, some forms of inlet printing, and certain types of photographs. They use pressure to seal an adhesive plastic pouch or film around the item being laminated.
Two Major Types of Machine Laminators
In general terms, lamination refers to the process of applying a plastic cover to the surface of a document or other similar item. Two-sided lamination consists of creating a complete seal on all sides of the document, that of which is properly known as “encapsulation.” Nonetheless, lamination serves as the catch-all term for any form of heat-based plastic coating process.
An A3 laminator is a good choice for large print materials that need to be protected and embellished for display purposes. Usually of the thermal variety, with single or double-sided options, A3 laminators offer greater flexibility in terms of item orientation, workpiece size, and operating temperature.
An A4 laminator is the more common of the two, and it finds use in many homes, offices, schools, and retail environments. Moreover, A4 laminators are utilized for producing report card covers, business cards, instruction guides, and more. They are available in pouch configurations and use heated rollers to seal adhesive plastic wallets around the documents at hand.
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