Lamination is the process of coating labels and stickers with a protective film against external damage. During transportation and storage, product labels can get wet, scratched, stained, faded, or damaged. A damaged package will spoil the first impression of the product and the manufacturer. In order to prevent this, printing companies use lamination – the application of a protective film on the base with the material.
Features of lamination technology
Lamination of labels and stickers ensures durability, increased strength and wear resistance. This method is used in the production of labels, which in the process of storage, transportation and use can be exposed to mechanical damage, contact with moisture and chemicals, temperature effects, etc.
Basic technological processes of lamination
The melted polymer is applied to the label with a flat sheet die extruder and then pressed in the roller mill. For good adhesion the substrate is preheated (300°C) and/or coated with a special adhesive. The process is fast and productive.
An adhesive is applied to the material, then a protective film is pressed onto it. The material is placed in a laminator, where it is run between an elastic-coated roller and a polished steel roller. The method is suitable for labels on rolls and on printed sheets.
Two-layer films are used for lamination with a thermoplastic layer, which acts as an adhesive when heated and melted.
The adhesives used are thermoplastic compositions, aqueous dispersions, organic solvent compositions, chemically repellable and photopolymerizable adhesives. The choice depends on the properties of the base material, the peculiarities of lamination technology and packaging requirements.
Laminates have not only protective as well as decorative properties. Using laminated coatings can make labels more attractive, highlight the product against competitors’ products and encourage consumers to make a purchase.
Types of laminates
- Glossy – gives labels a luxurious sheen. The colors of the paints become brighter and more saturated;
- Matte – provide high definition of images and good readability even of small fonts on the labels. The design looks solid, and any color scheme becomes harmonious and uniform;
- Velvet (soft touch) – the surface acquires a soft texture and becomes nubuck-like to the touch. Researches show, that a pleasant tactile sensation influences customer preferences;
- Imitation leather – allow you to combine the decorative advantages of design paper and the practicality of the film. This type of laminate well reproduces the texture of leather – the characteristic reliefs and abrasions.
Laminated materials are produced from polypropylene, polystyrene, polyethylene terephthalate, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride and other cellulose and synthetic polymers. The best ratio of cost to strength is in films made of oriented and biaxially oriented polypropylene. If labels must have increased resistance to tear and wear, then it is recommended to use polyethylene terephthalate. However, it has a low UV transmittance, which makes it difficult to use UV adhesives.
We have a wide range of materials and machines for label lamination. If you need expert help in selecting a lamination machine please call or write us.