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Having problems when laminating digital print?

Published: 23.03.2015

Having problems when laminating digital print?

ARE YOU HAVING PROBLEMS WHEN LAMINATING DIGITAL PRINT?  FIND THAT IT’S PEELING STRAIGHT OFF?

If you are having issues, be assured that you are not alone! 

The fact is that silicone fuser oil present in digital print engines e.g. Xerox, plus some other digital toner additives, can cause adhesion problems when over-laminating with thermal lamination films.  There are ways to overcome this though, here’s a few tips from Ashgrove:

How to know if the laminating film has adhered ok

Don’t leave it untill an irate customer phones to find out that the lamination is peeling off!  If your laminating film hasn't stuck you should be able to tell straight away.  It is always advisable to check prior to running a digital job by laminating a couple of samples and testing for adhesion, particularly if you are laminating a digital solid.  Run a knife across the laminated surface, see if it bubbles and try peeling off the laminating film.  If it comes away without any difficulty leaving the digital print intact, then you have an adhesion problem!

5 Tips to beat the adhesion problem

  1. LEAVE THE PRINTS OVERNIGHT BEFORE LAMINATING – Experience has proven that lamination will adhere more easily when the digital print has fully cured.
  2. USE A BETTER DIGITAL GRADE FILM – Standard OPP thermal film (typically 24-27 micron) has around 12-15 microns of adhesive .  Some specially formed Digital Films (we find Ultrabond the best) have 28-30 microns of high quality adhesive, enabling far greater adhesion, even on difficult solids.

  3. INCREASE THE TEMPERATURE – Run your laminator as hot as you dare.  Decent digital films like Ultrabond will cope with running temperatures up to 125 deg C, standard films will accept a max of around 115 deg C.  If you run too hot you will know because the film will shrink unacceptably and lose clarity.
  4. DECREASE THE SPEED – The slower you run, the better chance the rollers have to help adhesion.
  5. INCREASE THE PRESSURE – If you have a machine with pneumatic pressure adjustment such as the new Matrix Pneumatic or Europa, (see below) you can also crank up the pressure which helps immensely to force the laminating film to adhere.  This feature enables pneumatic machines to use cheaper standard OPP films much more often than laminators with mechanical pressure.

 

Hopefully these tips will have you smiling!  If you are still having problems, feel free to give us a call for advice on 01779 470606.

 

Matrix MX530P B2 Single sided Pneumatic Laminator

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0597

Europa B2 Autofeed Single-sided Roll Laminator

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0591

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