October '22

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5 2 G R A P H I C S P R O • O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M Laminates come in film and liquid varieties. Film laminate is used on paper, cardboard, aluminum foil, and biofilm in the packaging and paper industries. It also is used for vehicle wraps. Liquid laminate adds a UV coating to things like textured vinyl, signs, and menus to protect them from damaging UV rays and enhance the colors of the ink. Liquid laminate is poured and pressed onto a print and cured with UV light to help protect a graphic from scratches, fading, moisture, and fingerprints. Film laminate is a better fit for products that need to be creased or folded because liquid laminate will crack. DOES EVERY PRINT REQUIRE LAMINATION? "When it comes to UV protection, lamination is a must for long-term applications if they are to stand the test of time," Brown says. If the goal is to protect a graphic's ink, lamination is a must for both indoor and outdoor applications, especially if it is placed in a high-traffic location, such as hallways. Lamination for finishing effects is only necessary for some instances as most print media comes in different finishes, she adds. "Newer print hardware even allows for gloss and matte output from the get-go through their ink setup." Alan Miller, an application engineer at 3M, says current trends in laminates include textured laminates, giving printed and col- ored-base films the feel of carbon fiber, brushed, wood grain, or plaster. "is allows graphic manufacturers to create custom-colored vehicle wrap films," he says. "New coatings and stabilizers on and in laminates result in better cleaning and long-term non-verti- cal/horizontal warranties. Laminates range from very thin and conformable to very thick and gouge-resistant, and some are now available with sustainability advantages without sacrificing any important properties." "People expect laminates to continue to extend the life of their graphics. We like to think of them as the sunscreen of wrap," says KPMF's Ryan Scislowicz. (Images courtesy KPMF)

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