Last Updated on October 1, 2020 by MakeThingsReal
With so many businesses going paperless today, there is more longevity with paper documents as you really can’t damage a digital file, no matter how hard you try. Should in case, you lose on one, you will simply copy it to another location. This is not the same thing for paper documents – to keep them safe and secure, you need to use a high-quality laminator.
These devices use heat to press the document between two thin layers of plastic, which allows it to preserve the document and stand up against all forms of bending, creasing or even spills. Laminators are affordable but they are not created equal.
Before you set out to buy a laminator, there are a couple of things you should consider such as the thickness that will fit your project. By design, laminate films come in a variety of thickness which can be measured in mils., with one mil equalling to .001. Everything you laminate a file, your printing will be in between two pieces of laminate films.
You need to know the thickness that will fit your project. A 1.5 mil laminate will increase the thickness of your printed piece by 3 mil, while a 10 mil will increase it by 20 mil. The more rigid and thick you will like your finished piece to be, the thicker the laminate film has to be. A laminate film of 3 mil is often required if you will like your printed piece to be folded.
Another consideration is the type of finish you prefer. We have gloss and matte finish. With glossy laminate films, the document will add a shiny glass-like appearance to the material.
This also enhances the color and vibrancy of the ink on the document. This is why it is quite popular for promotional pieces and showroom displays of brochures and billboards. Matte finish, on the other hand, has a softer appearance on printed pieces and it also helps reduce the glare that comes with laminated pieces. It has a reduced sheen level and allows for easier reading of the document. It’s frequently used by restaurants for their menus and on manuals.
The trimming of the document, once it’s laminated, is another consideration. There are two types of edges – the Sealed Edge and the Flush Edge. Sealed Edge occurs when the lamination extends beyond the edge of the printed document, while a Flushed Edge refers to the trimming of the lamination at the edge of the printed piece. There are different instances where you might prefer a sealed edge over a flush edge. A sealed edge is to be used if the environment where the print matter is to be used contains moisture, oil, grease or any other form of contamination. In such a case, the lamination film is extended beyond the edge by a couple of inches so that the top and bottom sheets bond to each other around the perimeter. This will prevent fluids and dirt from the edge of the printed paper. Flushed edge on the other is the exact opposite. It’s used on printed pieces that won’t be subject to moisture or excessive dirt. This includes business cards or binders.
When it comes to thermal laminators, there are tons of options available. There are the Amazon Basics Thermal Laminators that have a modern look to them, with smooth rounded corners. The sides and bottom have been capped off with black plastic and a plain design. It’s simple and bare but it works.
This laminator has variable heat and the pouch contains a heat activated adhesive inside, when laminating thick pouches, this laminator produces the required heat level needed to pass through the layers of the pouch in order to activate the adhesive before the material passes.
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