When do I use hot or cold (pressure sensitive) laminating film?

There are many different films and media used in varying applications. Ultimately the end use application should determine the materials used. A Fleet graphic for example should be printed and laminated using Cold UV Vinyl, whereas a Book cover could be printed on more economical paper and laminated using a Thermal PET or OPP.


Basic guidelines:

Thermal laminates are much lower cost than Cold laminates.

Thermal laminating is usually both sides (encapsulation) while Cold is usually one side.

Paper media can withstand heat and are therefore suitable for Thermal laminating.

Vinyl media will melt and stretch under heat and must therefore use Cold laminates.

Paper graphics are usually laminated using Thermal films, and can also use Cold films.

Vinyl graphics are laminated using Cold films only.


Tip: For Paper Inkjet graphics use low-melt Thermal films such as Royalam or Lomel, and allow the ink to cure for 24 hours prior to laminating.