October '22

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 • G R A P H I C S P R O 5 5 It's also very important to use the correct laminate with the correct base film, he says. "If you are spending money on cast printable film, don't lami- nate it with calendared films because it won't last as long; there is a different shrinkage factor," he says. "e opposite is always fine." Substrate shortages have tempted many people to buy less expensive laminate, so it is important that shops use the better material on the top section, he added. Another mistake is laminating short-term applications, Brown says. "In most short-term applications, you can eliminate the need for laminating by choosing a thicker print media with an easy install or removable adhesive solution. ese materials will do the job wonderfully and avoid the added cost and labor of lamination," she says. When cleaning, it is important that disinfectant chemicals don't cause damage to signage and displays. "Museums, photo studios, retailers, schools, and many more sites will have a range of graphics materials installed that will need to remain safely intact and in a good visual condition after clean- ing," Brown says. "Wall murals, decals, floor graphics, window displays, and signage may all need cleaning, but how to approach this will depend on the graphics material, especially that of its overlaminate product." Drytac's range of overlaminate films withstands cleaning with everyday commercially available cleaning products, she says, but for more intense cleaning, it is important to check the film's chemical resistance. Most customers use PVC, poly- ester, or polypropylene films, which all have different levels of chemical resistance. Other mistakes include overstretching the laminate during the lamination process, using insufficient heating of the base film when laminating UV printed graphics, and not getting the end customer's color approval after applying the laminate to the graphic, says 3M's Miller. Silvering is a common problem. It is "caused by tiny bubbles of air getting trapped under the lamination, creating the appear- ance of hazy or silver reflective lines," Brown says, which may not be noticeable on lighter graphics but will really stand out on darker colors. Silvering can be caused by several things, including not applying the right amount of roller pressure, laminating too fast, or using a substrate with an uneven surface, such as paper with fibers. Laminates come in film and liquid varieties.

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