Lamination refers to the manufacturing technique of layering multiple materials, giving the composite material improved stability, strength, and appearance. The process involves the use of pressure, heat, and adhesives.
The most common types of laminates are hot and cold. In the hot laminating process, the laminates have adhesives that are activated when the printed graphic runs through a hot-roll laminator with a temperature ranging from 210 to 240° F. The downside of this process is that the heat can damage some types of inkjet graphics.
For delicate graphics, the preferred laminating process is cold lamination. Cold laminates have aggressive adhesives that are applied using pressure instead of heat. There is a release liner to protect the adhesives until they are ready for application. Cold laminating films are typically more expensive than the hot versions, but they do not require expensive heat laminators.
Cold lamination films can be used on different types of vinyl, including Avery removable vinyl, Oracal removable vinyl, and the inexpensive Instant Media One vinyl. Cold lamination films vary in price ranges, from economical to prohibitively expensive.
The prevailing idea is that the more expensive the cold lamination film is, the higher its quality, but that is not always the case.
In professional comparisons, Instant One Media’s cold laminate has been found to be of the same quality as more expensive alternatives on the market. It is a 2.5 mil soft PVC film and offers six to 18 months of UV protection. It comes either in gloss or matte finish and measures 54 inches by 150 feet. This laminate works well with Seal brand laminators.
This IOM Laminate comes with a 95# PE-coated silicone release liner. The expected durability of the IOM Laminate is two years when used indoors and one year when used outdoors. It has a UV extension factor of one year.
The IOM Laminate is recommended for walls, floors, rigid signs and other indoor and outdoor applications.