When looking for the right type of laminating film, there are a few considerations that you’ll need to keep in mind. For instance, the type of project you need it for and the laminator that you’re going to be using.
Using the wrong type of laminating film in a laminator can ruin both your project and your machine, so it’s important that you get it right.
Thermal Laminating Film
Thermal laminators that use heat are the most standard type used. Laminators like this use a thermal laminating film that is activated by heat.
This type of laminating film is commonly used to laminate documents, ID cards, posters, and restaurant menus.
Low Melt Film
Low melt film is a middle ground between cold and thermal laminating, although it still falls under the thermal banner. Because it has a lower melting point, this type of film is commonly used for digital prints and artwork.
Cold Lamination Film
Cold laminators use pressure instead of heat, and they are designed to be used with laminating roll film that contains a pressure-sensitive adhesive. These machines, and by extension the rolls of lamination film, are available in a wide variety of sizes, allowing them to be used for a lot of projects.
Finishes and Thickness
Once you learn what type of film is best to use for your lamination machine, you can start to consider the finish and the thickness of your film.
A matte film reduces glare and fingerprints, although it does have a duller finish than standard glossy film. However, glossy film, while shinier, usually allows for more detail and brighter colors to show through. For this reason, glossy finishes are commonly used for ID cards and when trying to grab someone’s attention.
As for thickness, the thickness of lamination film is measured by mils. One mil equals 1/1000th of an inch. 1.5 mil film is very thin and it is great when the primary purpose is protection. It is also the most affordable option.
10 mil film is much thicker and harder to bend, making it a good choice for things that need a lot of protection or will be handled quite often. Many ID cards, reference guides or emergency procedure documents use thicker films like this, as it allows them to resist more damage and stay in good shape longer.
The Right Film For You
If you’re ever unsure about what kind of laminating film is right for you, don’t risk making the wrong choice and ruining your machine. Speak to a film distributor to learn more about the types of film your machine can use, as well as what finish or thicknesses may be best for your project.