Laminating is the process of compressing and coating materials with a protective layer to improve strength, durability, insulation, sound proofing and preservation of the fabric. There are different processes used depending on the materials and size of item being laminated.

When most people think of laminating, paper products are probably on of the first things that come to mind. But other materials are coated as well including glass, porcelain, metal, plastic, and engineered wood products.

Products can be any size or shape, so using the right laminator machine to add the protective covering is important. There are different processes used to cover an item. The coating can be rolled, film, hot, cold, or pouch casings. Laminated materials can be single sided, double sided, semi or high gloss, matte and satin coated.

With so many types to choose from, knowing how to select the best process for your merchandise is important. These tips will help you.

1. Hot vs Cold Lamination

Machines can seal the coating on merchandise by using heated or cold rollers. Both types of lamination use pressure to seal both sides of the film to the fabric, but hot rollers also have the extra thermal feature to form a secure bond.

Cold laminating is a relatively new process in laminating. Some machines are heat only, others are cold pressing, while other appliances give you the option of using hot or cold processing. Cold temperature sealing does not require electrical power to use and is safer because there is no risk of burns or other heat related injuries.

2. Roll Laminating

Roller lamination machines are typically found in large companies or places where there is a lot of materials to be coated. Roller machines use rolls of plastic film to cover the front and back of items. The device runs on electricity. Once the machine is turned on, materials are placed in the opening of the film and run through the roller to seal the product between the two layers.

Roller laminators are very popular with large organizations because large volumes of materials can be coated at the same time. Products can be any shape and size when they go through the machine. Materials can be cut from the sheet after the mass laminating is complete. Roll laminators typically use heat to seal the film together. Many companies often use flex storage solutions to store these materials in a convenient and accessible place.

3. Pouch Laminators

Pouch laminators use designated pouches to seal materials between the two sheets. Once a product is placed in the pouch, it is rolled through the laminator to seal the two sides together. Pouch laminators are smaller than roller laminating machines, so they can be easily used on a desk or counter and stored away when finished. The appliances can use heat or cold sealing.

Pouch style machines can only laminate one product at a time. The inserts must fit into the pouch so the size and shape of the fabric that can be coated is limited to the size of the plastic pockets.

Some stores also sell smaller, self stick laminating pouches for small products like cards or wall size certificates.

Laminating materials is a common and popular way to cover materials, so they can be protected from the elements. Lamination preserves materials by making the interior fabric stronger and more resilient.

Many private and public agencies rely on laminate devices to coat their products. Today, advances in the sealing process offers a variety of easy film covering options for a wide range of products and resources.