(Quoted from Jerry Hill and Luigi Cristicini. Full article from Sign & Digital Graphics Here.)
The laminator is a versatile tool for print finishing professionals. Laminators are often pigeonholed as a solution to finish graphics for car wraps and trade show booths, creating a protective finish on flexible media. However, digital print finishers can also use laminators to mount and laminate graphics to numerous rigid substrates, including foam-centered boards, rigid PVC, PET-G, styrene, acrylic, aluminum, cardstock, MDF, and tempered hardboard. Each substrate has its own idiosyncrasies.
In today’s modern age, applying images to a rigid substrate can be as simple as pushing the “Print” button on your flatbed printer. Absent of this specific type of printer, print media will need to be mounted with a laminator. If your print media is not already adhesive-backed, there are two methods to accomplish this: pre-coating and decaling.
Both methods are acceptable to use. Simply put, pre-coating involves applying a double-sided adhesive to a board and then mounting a laminated or un-laminated image to it (see Figure 1). Alternatively, decaling consists of encapsulating the print media between a protective laminate (top) and a double-sided adhesive (bottom), then mounting the graphic “sandwich” to the board. Mounting is considered to be the easiest lamination process to master; however, in saying that, the art of lamination is often oversimplified.
Click Here to read the 10 common mounting issues and techniques to properly troubleshoot the problems in order to correct or avoid inevitable mistakes.