The hot stamping process is the most widely used in the decorating department because of its convenience, versatility and results. Since wet inks are not used there are no offensive odors, EPA concerns or storage problems. Furthermore, no ink mixing or messy clean-up is required and the installation of a new color or design merely involves changing a roll of dry printed material which minimizes set-up time.
The versatility of hot stamping is one of its most important assets. Besides plastic materials, where emphasis is on thermoplastics, thermosets can also be decorated. In addition, leather, fabrics, paper products, coated wood and pre-painted metal are stamped with success. Hot stamping is also the only decorative method where permanent gold and silver metallic graphics can be produced. Foils are also manufactured in gloss or matt pigment colors, woodgrain designs, brushed effects and chromium for exterior use. Multicolored graphics can be accomplished with preprinted heat transfers and continuous patterned foils.
Besides flat shapes, hot stamping foils can be applied to cylinders, slightly conical part shapes and simple compound curves. Smooth finishes, textures, multi-level configurations and raised graphics are also decorated with success.
Finally, the hot stamping process is capable of producing a high quality graphic, either small details or full coverage of large areas that has excellent adhesion and abrasion resistance due to thermal bonding between the foil and the substrate. The permanent decoration is immediately dry to the touch and ready for handling and packaging.