We know the feeling, you have got a big job to finish and the deadline is fast approaching.
The digital printing came out perfectly, all you need to do is laminate it and the job is done...
DISASTER, you've started cutting and the laminating film is peeling off!
Our technical term for this all too familiar scenario is
The silicone fuser oil often present in digital print engines e.g. Xerox, can cause adhesion problems when over-laminating with thermal lamination films. Here at Ashgrove we like to consider ourselves somewhat knowledgeable on the subject of lamination and encapsulation, so we’re going to offer up some simple solutions you can try.
First of all – check your laminating film has stuck properly, this will be evident in a number of ways:
An angry customer on the phone telling you
You can check it by running a knife across the laminated surface, check for bubbles and peeling. If the film peels away without any difficulty leaving the digital print intact, then you have an adhesion problem! If the film takes the top layer of the print with it when it peels, the adhesion is acceptable.
FIVE SOLUTIONS TO TRY BEFORE YOU CRY
PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE Experience has taught us that lamination will adhere more easily when the digital print has fully cured, so try printing in the afternoon and leave the prints overnight before laminating.
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 have up to 28-30 microns of high quality adhesive, enabling far greater adhesion, even on difficult solids. Our top grade film, Goldgrip is what we find to be the most reliable, see our full range of films here
TURN UP THE HEAT Run your laminator as hot as you dare! Decent digital films like Goldgrip will cope with running temperatures up to 125°C, standard films will accept a max of around 110°C. How hot is too hot? If you run your laminator too hot you will know because the film will shrink and lose clarity.
LET’S SLOW IT DOWN Good things come to those who wait, so turn the speed on your laminator down and give the rollers (nip rollers is the technical term) longer to apply pressure on the film which will increase the chance of perfect adhesion.
UNDER PRESSURE If you have a machine with pneumatic pressure adjustment such as the new Matrix Pneumatic , Neptune or Europa you can also crank up the pressure 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.
Tried everything? Still in the depths of lamination frustration?
Get in touch either by email or phone us on 01779 470606 and we can help!