Planning Your Job
At Scott Laminating and Finishing, an experienced customer service representative will assist you in choosing the right film for the job.
Factors to Consider in Film Type
Clarity, matte finishes, curl propensity, scratch resistance, dimension strength, and bonding performance are considerations in choosing the proper film laminate.
Film Types & Applications
Many film types are available in both gloss and matte finishes. Depending on your application with the finished product, we can advise on which film might be preferable.
OPP (Polypropylene)-based Film
This film is ideal for laminating dust jackets, saddle-stitched books, and dry erase boards. OPP is a soft film that folds easily. It is available in gloss, matte, scuff-free matte, and soft touch matte. It is the most economical of all laminating films.
PET (Polyester)-based film
PET is a very durable film and is recommended when a laminated piece will receive numerous finishing steps. PET is ideal for laminating dust jackets, saddle-stitched books, signage, maps, menus, case bound books, and other point of purchase applications. It is available in gloss, glueable/stampable gloss, satin, matte, scuff-free matte, and soft touch matte.
This film is often called “lay flat” film and is designed for one side laminating. It is ideal for laminating soft or perfect-bound covers. Nylon film has a permeable nature. This permeability allows nylon film to absorb moisture at the same rate as paper, which allows for a stay flat result, thus minimizing curl. It is available in gloss, matte, scuff-free matte, and soft touch matte.
Digitally printed sheets to be thermally laminated
Digitally printed sheets containing fuser oil or toner-based inks require a 24-hour dry time once printed and a special digital film designed to adhere to these inks. Adhesives in thermal laminating film formulated for digital inks produce a more aggressive adhesive bond compared to standard laminating film adhesives. Testing laminate adhesion with desired digital print engine is recommended before work should begin to ensure compatibility.
Offset printed sheets to be thermally laminated
With offset printed sheets to be thermally laminated, to ensure proper adhesion and performance with our laminating films, the following MUST be used:
- Wax-free inks and varnishes
- Allow 24-48 hours dry time before laminating process begins.
- Allow at least 24 hours cure time after laminating process for optimum adhesion.
Aqueous coated sheets to be thermally laminated
Aqueous coating reduces the bond strength of thermal laminating films to paper. Aqueous coating is not recommended for some thermal laminating applications requiring stronger bonds, including but not limited to, case or hard bound book covers, perfect bound books, and ring binders. Recommendations when using aqueous coating in conjunction with thermal laminating films include:
- Not using an aqueous coating on projects requiring stronger laminating bond
- Asking your aqueous coating provider for an aqueous primer coat compatible to laminating.
- When using an aqueous coating with thermal laminating, leave a minimum of ½” knockout clearance from edge of sheet void of aqueous coating and printed ink.
- Metallic inks can affect the adhesion of laminating films, especially with case or hard binding, perfect binding, and ring binders. Imitation metallics are recommended to promote adhesion of thermal film adhesives.
- With high speed print copies, thin papers can lead to paper undulations creating a wavy surface and increasing propensity for wrinkling paper stock. Paper stock thickness of (28# bond) or thicker are recommended to avoid this undulation effect.
- Two side laminating with sealed edge encapsulated finish is recommended for 3mil, 5mil, & 10mil thicknesses only. 1.5mil film laminating thickness is not recommended with a sealed edge encapsulated finish because it’s too thin.
Web Press printed sheets to be laminated
Sheets cut from web press printed runs typically have undulations and do not lay flat. When thermally laminated, sheets have a propensity to wrinkle, curl, or blister increasing waste sheets during laminating press run.
From large maps to small pieces such as business cards, two-sided laminating offers total protection of the printed surface on both sides of sheet adding strength and dimensional thickness.
Polyester (PET) and polypropylene (OPP) films are both used in two-sided laminating. All two-sided laminating protects printed surfaces. Encapsulating, or sealing the edges, is a literal protection against liquid spills, and prevents separation of paper stocks. Laminating magnifies colors and images, making the printing jump off the page.
|Minimum Sheet Size||2″ x 3.5″ Business card|
|Maximum Sheet Size||40″ x 58”|
|Paper Weight Minimum||60# Litho/Text|
|Paper Weight Maximum||24 Pt. C1S or C2S|
One-side laminating adds dimension and stability to printed sheets. One side laminating is used primarily for books, presentation folders, posters, and business cards. Polyester (PET), Polypropylene (OPP), and Nylon films are used in one-side laminating with each film type possessing different properties and applications. Available thermal laminate finishes are gloss, satin, matte, soft touch matte, fine grit matte, and linen.
|Minimum Sheet Size||11″ x 17″|
|Maximum Sheet Size||40″ x 58″|
|Paper Weight Minimum||#80 litho text|
|Paper Weight Maximum||24pt board|
BOOK BINDING & LAMINATING
Perfect Binding generally requires the front and back covers lay absolutely flat, even after all stages of production—from printing to final trimming and boxing. Because moisture of paper can vary so much from paper manufacturer to boxing, the proper type of laminating is imperative. Nylon (“lay flat”) film is recommended for perfect binding. Nylon film is permeable in nature, allowing moisture to escape through the outer layer. This important feature is what causes perfect bound books to stay flat—even on a display shelf—and never curl. This fact is guaranteed by the manufacturers of the film. Nylon films are available in gloss, matte, and soft touch matte. Wax-free inks are recommended to promote optimum adhesion.
Case Binding, or “Hard Binding” uses a host of films both in gloss, as well as, various matte finishes. PETGS (Glueable/Stampable) gloss and Nylon gloss are the two viable choices for a gloss finish depending on client’s needs. With nonglossy laminates, Nylon, PET, and OPP films all offer solutions in semi-gloss (satin), scuff-free matte, and soft touch matte finishes. Recommendations for printing case or hard bound covers include using wax-free inks to promote optimum adhesion, in addition to, avoiding use of an aqueous coating during printing process. Please consult your book binding vendor for binding requirements and preferences.
Saddle Stitched book covers are successfully laminated with most film types though Nylon “lay flat” films are recommended to prevent soft cover from curling.
Plastic Coil and Wire-O binding utilize all three types of laminating films. When curl of the covers might be a concern due to excessive moisture and stored in a non-temperature-controlled environment, nylon “lay flat” film is recommended.