Cold laminating film does carry a higher price point than thermal films, but provides the required protection, durability, longevity, and finish required for the application while also providing a positive return to the print provider.
4. What is available for graffiti protection?
Caruso: AGL offers two types of anti-graffiti films: an economy anti-graffiti film and a high performance alternative to Tedlar films.
Goodman: Drytac’s Instacure POP, Enduracoat Stain Resist, and Protac akk offer anti-graffiti protection.
Mohni: There are laminating films available on the market that have anti-graffiti properties. SEAL manufactures Print Shield Anti-Graffiti cold laminating film. Once applied to an image, graffiti can be removed with a wide variety of non-toxic cleaners found at any local hardware store. And, once cleaned, there will be no residual ghosting of the graffiti.
Pierce: Films have been developed over time offering varying levels of protection for applications exposed to graffiti vandalism. The newest and most effective entrant offered by GBC is our new Arctic Anti-Graffiti film. This is a pressure sensitive over-laminate using a PCTFE substrate, which is plasticizer- and stabilizer-free and is chemical, flame, and stain resistant.
Graffiti made using a permanent marker can be cleaned using simple household cleaners and a cloth or paper towel.
Graffiti made with paints will require a cleaning solution that breaks down the paint and the laminated application will not be exposed to either the graffiti of the solution, thus leaving the application clean and protected.
5. What type of laminate works best with window perf?
Caruso: AGL’s Cover-Rite V2G is a cast, clear laminate with a built-in clear pre-mask that is a benefit during installation. Applying this step saving product to an image will cut a seven step process down to three. Our laminate, with its built-in premask, bridges the perforations to make applying graphics quicker and easier.
Corey: For window perf, you should always use a gloss polyester (retail window application) or cast gloss (vehicle) with an optically clear liner.
Goodman: Cast vinyl is one option as well as UV coatings such as InstaCure Super Flex Gloss.
Pierce: For window perf, no lamination is recommended. But if a laminate is desired, optical clarity is the most important factor, so PET laminate would be the best option.
6. Which is better: film or liquid
Caruso: Film lamination offers the ultimate in versatility. It can be used for the same applications as liquid and can be used on applications where liquid can’t be used.
Roll laminators that are used to apply roll films also give a print shop the ability to mount graphics to various substrates. A printer with limited space or a limited budget will certainly get more use from a film laminator.
Goodman: Types of laminates are not always interchangeable. For some the best product might be what has the lowest cost along with ease of use. Others might want something that they can use with a larger spectrum of their applications.
7. What options are there when it comes to polycarbonate laminates for durable tradeshow graphics?
Caruso: Polycarbonate films are still available and used today. Textured vinyl films have become a very popular alternative. They can provide a similar look and protection at a lower square foot cost. AGL offers both polycarbonate and textured vinyl films for almost any tradeshow application.
Corey: Polycarbonate laminates currently use better adhesives to eliminate the tunneling that occurred in the past.
Co-polymer pressure sensitive films that are the same thickness and have the same “lay flat” capabilities but cost less are a good alternative. (We call this product “Exhibitshield”.)
Both Polycarbonate and co-polymer laminates work with film, paper, and backlit films. Buy both the print media and laminate from a reliable source who knows how well the pair works together.
Mohni: Polycarbonate laminate is the most durable, scratch-resistant tradeshow laminating film. Most are available as pressure sensitive solutions and come in 5, 10, and 15 mil thicknesses.