I suspect everyone has an idea of what is stratification even if you only saw it by the way. Restaurant menus are a common example. A plastic finish is placed on the menu to protect it from food and stains. But did you know that you can laminate just about anything that is flat? If it needs to be protected and reused, it is something to consider for stratification. The laminate also makes the original material stronger and more durable. All of our panels can be rolled, but the reasons are varied and not all panels need to be rolled.
A number of our customers have fondly taken to our dry erase laminate. They can have engineering plans, charts or other diagrams printed on almost all our substrates (eg, PVC or aluminum). Once we cover them with the dry erase laminate, it allows users to mark the signs with dry erase ink that can easily be wiped off. It's wonderful for discussions and demonstrations.
But our main use for laminates is to protect the signals and give them a longer life expectancy. For example, our UV inks used in digital printing have a lifespan of about 3 years before starting to fade without lamination. But a laminate can give them 2 to 3 years more without fading.
We encourage our customers to laminate the magnetic signs we produce because they protect inks from abrasions – roads constantly push dirt and dust from the panels. You should also consider laminates for signs that are often removed and put back in place. Real estate signs are a perfect example. They can come easily scratched without stratification. The user can also initiate registration after meetings and reuse it without fear that the panel will become alert.
And finally, we like to use laminates because they give the panel a beautiful professional finish. There are two basic types of finish that can be obtained from laminate: matte and glossy. The matte finishes look a little grainy and are not reflective, but they tend to make the colors on the panel more striking and more vivid. In contrast, glossy finishes are reflective and tend to shine bright colors with a strong definition.
There are two basic types of laminates: hot and cold. The hot laminates are placed on panels at a temperature of about 220 to 300 degrees F. The process is a bit more expensive than cold laminates, but the laminate lasts a little longer. Unfortunately, some inks used in digital printing melt in hot conditions. You also can not use hot laminates on heat sensitive papers.
Under these conditions, cold laminators are required. They use pressure-sensitive adhesives to fix the laminating film. We also use a spray laminate (cold) to protect signals when cost is a problem. Spray laminates protect the panel but do not give a glossy finish or make the material stiffer.