What are some of the best practices for single-side laminating?
There are several factors that have a direct impact on adhesion performance when laminating. Adhering to the following Best Practices will contribute to adhesive performance and bond strength regardless of the type of laminate or adhesive being used. Different adhesives are also recommended for different types of output, especially digital as toner-based print engines use either Fuser Oil or have a Lubricant built into the toner particle.
Offset/Litho, Liquid/Wet Ink:
- Allow 3 hours minimum cure time before laminating.
- Keep offset spray to a minimum.
- Avoid the use of clearcoat.
- Avoid metallic inks as well as *Rhodamine Red or *Reflex Blue or Purple (check with your ink supplier for alternative inks).
- Note: Regular thermal adhesives adhere well to this output based on above conditions.
Digital Dry Toner (polyester based with fuser oil or toner lubricant):
- All dry toner printers use either fuser oil in the print engine or a lubricant built into the toner.
- Fuser oil is more problematic as it lays on the surface of the toner, whereas the toner lubricant is imbedded and provides a more uniform displacement, not just on the surface.
- Note: Recommended wait times are cumulative based on the following attributes.
Printers with No Fuser Oil (lubricant imbedded toner):
- Allow 3 hours minimum cure time, based on porous stock and light coverage/half tones.
- Add 6 hours if printed on high gloss coated stock.
- Add 6 hours for solid colour/heavy ink coverage.
- Total recommended wait times are therefore 3 – 15 hours.
- Note: Regular thermal adhesives will adhere well to light ink coverage/half tones on porous stock, however we recommend SuperStick /Digistick adhesive for best performance on coated stock with full ink coverage.
Digital Printers with Fuser Oil:
- Allow 6 hours minimum cure time, based on porous stock and light coverage/half tones.
- Add 6 hours if printed on high gloss coated stock. Add 6 hours for solid colour/heavy ink coverage.
- Total recommended wait times are therefore 6 – 18 hours. Note; Although regular thermal adhesives will adhere to some porous stock with light ink coverage, further converting or finishing may result in failure. We recommend the use of Superstick or Digistick adhesives for best performance on all output from fuser-oil printers, especially when further converting or finishing is part of the application.
In addition: we also recommend you Fan and Jog-Out all digital output prior to laminating to help dissipate surface variables, and place in small lifts of 1” – 2”. Also note that Air-Joggers will dissipate more surface variables than Vibration-only Joggers.
- All adhesive types take time to Cure.
- All adhesive types Bond Strengths increase as they cure.
- The primary cure occurs in the first 24 hours.
- Some adhesives (Superstick & Digistick) will continue to cure and strengthen for up to 5 days.
- We recommend a minimum wait time of 8 hours, and preferably overnight, before starting any further converting or finishing process.
- We recommend testing samples prior to any further converting or finishing.
- In summary longer cure times will reduce failures regardless of adhesive or output type.