Understanding What is The Difference Between Hot and Cold Lamination?

Understanding What is The Difference Between Hot and Cold Lamination?


Understanding What is The Difference Between Hot and Cold Lamination?

If you are looking at laminating a project or investing in high-quality binding equipment for your office, you need to know about the different types of lamination available.

In particular, what is the difference between hot and cold lamination?

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Hot Lamination –

A laminator effectively covers an item in plastic. This process is intended to protect the object as it is sealed in. In short, you can spill things on it or even put it out in the rain and the object inside will stay dry.

Heat laminators need to warm up before they can be used. This is because they operate at between 180-300°F. As the item is pushed through the laminator, it is surrounded by the plastic sheet which already has adhesive attached to them. It’s invisible to the human eye but the laminator will heat the adhesive, allowing it to attach to the item being laminated, or even to a secondary sheet of plastic.

Hot lamination is very effective and the finished document is generally very resistant to wear and tear. However, you do need to verify that the ink, or any other material on the document, will not melt at these temperatures. If it will, heat lamination is not an option for you.

Cold Lamination –

Cold lamination also uses plastic sheets that are coated with adhesive. However, the difference is that the adhesive is not heated to allow it to create a lasting bond. Instead, it reacts to pressure. The cold laminator effectively pressurizes the plastic sheet, forcing the adhesive to stick to the document, product, or another sheet.

Naturally, because there is no heat involved, cold laminators are much safer to use than heat ones. They also don’t need a warm up period which means you can use them straightaway.

It’s also worth noting that a cold laminator doesn’t usually require any electricity to work. That can be a cost saving and even allow laminating during a power outage.

Which Type To Choose?

Your decision will be based on what you intend to laminate. Anything that is heat sensitive should be put through a cold laminator. This covers a variety of inks and even some papers. If you are looking at laminating pictures or anything on ink-jet paper, a cold laminator is definitely the way to go.

But, if the item doesn’t have issues with heat then the better option is heat lamination. This process is more durable and you will create a stronger bond. This is particularly important if you are dealing with thicker materials, such as laminating some plastic.

Heat lamination sheets are polyester and adhesive and they will have a ratio noted on the. For example, ¼. The one is the polyester content and the four is the adhesive. The higher the first number the stronger the plastic and the more rigid the laminated product will be.

Both machines have their place, you simply need to consider what you are going to be using it for. This will guide you to the right laminator.

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