How can I avoid laminator film wrap-up?
By allowing 2″-3″ of lamination film to hang out of the laminator as you start your lamination job and by making sure the back of the laminator is not up against a wall, cabinet or other obstruction, you should assure wrap-free operation. Most GBC laminators have a wrap-free feature, but it is always good to allow that clearance.

Why is my lamination turning out bubbly?
If you are using a thermal (heat) laminator, then the heat setting may be too high for the item being laminated. If the machine has a control to adjust the heat, try lowering the temperature. Also, if using a thermal pouch laminator, make sure that you are using a “carrier” for the pouch – and the correct carrier.

Why is my lamination cloudy?
Cloudy lamination is usually the result of insufficient heat. If the machine has a control to adjust the heat, try increasing the temperature. Also, if using a thermal pouch laminator, you may be using a laminating pouch that is too thick for the machine (some machines have pre-set temperatures designed to work with standard pouch films – usually 3 and 5 mil).

What is the difference between leadered and non-leadered carriers?
Leadered carriers open from the bottom and are sewn or seamed at the top -these are usually available in retail packs. These non-leadered carriers open like a book (no sewn margins) are are usually included in bulk packs (50 or 100 pouches per box).

How can I get adhesive off of my pouch laminator rollers?
While the pouch laminator is still hot, run a sheet of copy paper through without a carrier or pouch. This will remove any adhesive buildup. The best way to prevent adhesive from getting on the rollers is to use a carrier all the time when laminating.

Why won’t my thermal film stick to my ink jet output?
Providing the laminator temperature and speed settings are correct, the most likely culprit is your image. Ink jet prints that are not completely dry can prove to be impossible to laminate. Inks contain Glycol to prevent the ink from clogging the nozzels. Glycol is an oily-type solvent that is not compatible with thermal adhesives. Now, what can be done to improve adhesion? First, make sure you are properly using the ink limiting setting during your RIP. Ink limiting will reduce your drying time. Next, choose the proper media to print on. High gloss papers are difficult to laminate because most of the ink rests on the receptive coating of the paper. Matte papers absorb more moisture and are therefore, easier to laminate. Remember, your prints must be completely dry before laminating, and, highly saturated prints will take longer to dry.

What causes silvering?
In thermal films, silvering is caused by the adhesive not “wetting out” properly. This can be solved by either increasing the temperature setting, or slowing down the speed setting. Sometimes you may need to do both. This will promote a better adhesive flow. The same principles apply to cold laminates. A temperature setting of 110F will help wet out the adhesive and accelerate the initial bond.

How long will my ink jet image last if I protect it with a U.V. overlaminate?
Generally speaking, overlaminates with U.V. inhibitors will extend the life of your image by 3-4 times. Dye-based inks, when subjected to high levels of U.V. radiation, can fade in as little as a few days. This means that even with a protective overlaminate, your dye-based image can be damaged in as little as 2 weeks. Pigmented inks last significantly longer than dye-based. Laminated images printed with pigmented inks can expect a six to twelve month outdoor lifespan without experiencing significant U.V. fading.