Encapsulation is the process of sealing and covering boards or printed paper with a plastic film that is waterproof. It gives a professional looking finish and helps to strengthen the encapsulated item, potentially improving its useful life.
An overlap is typically left around the edge to achieve a fully waterproof seal. The film is secured to the items surface so that this overlap can be trimmed off if waterproofing is not needed.
Typical uses for encapsulated sheets include maps, menus, restaurant kitchen manuals, catalogues, sales presenters, display graphics, ID badges, banners, aides – memoirs and many others. We can encapsulate virtually anything that you need protecting from the elements or materials you want to add a bit of professional gloss.
Sheets that require encapsulating should be cut to size and fully collated if in sequences or sets. You should not interweave sets. Supply covers separately if there is more than one thickness in a collection, e.g. a catalog. Sheets can be creased, drilled, eyeleted, slot punched, glue, strutted, or velcro tabbed. They are also suitable for ram punching or platen cutting depending on the thickness of encapsulation you choose.
There are five mine gauges of thickness to choose from. The most flexible is 0.004 mils, the next is 0.075 mils, which is still flexible, and 0.125 mils is less flexible than that. Menus, brochures, manuals, and maps would be better suited to these thicknesses. For a semi-rigid bend, choose 0.175 mils and, for a rigid product that is similar to a credit card, you should choose 0.25 mils. These thicknesses are better for ID badges, presentation materials, and memoirs. We can always show you examples of various thicknesses in-person if you are unsure which one to pick.
Warning: Previously laminated or varnished sheets will give a poorer but usually adequate bond strength. The bond strength may be diminished if sheets are laser printed, particularly over areas of solid colour. Avoid laser printing solid colours to the bleed.
Similarly, silkscreen solids give inferior adhesion. Some synthetic and resin coated substrates (inkjet media) react to the heat of the process by rippling. Best quality is achieved with litho or HP Indigo printing over a paper, card, or Teslin substrates.
You can call us directly to inquire about minimum and maximum product sizes as well as paper thickness, runs, and run lengths. We would be more than happy to answer any other questions you have about encapsulating a product in a laminate. The professionals at Lamin-8 have years of experience with a variety of projects.