Posts Tagged ‘Roll Laminating Film’

Can You Mix the Mil Thickness of Roll Laminating Film?

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Roll Laminating FilmI recently had a customer, who was using a roll laminator, ask if they could mix the mil thickness of their film rolls (find our film here). They wanted to use a 1.5 mil thickness film on the back and a 3 mil on the front. He wanted to know if it could be done and if I had any advice on how to get it to work properly. This isn’t the firs time I’ve gotten a question like this. I have a little advice I’d like to share about mixed mil thicknesses and how to get the results you want

The above-mentioned customer wanted a thicker film on the front that would be exposed for added protection. He still wanted film on the back of the sign, but wanted to save money by using a thinner film. This is a fairly common reason for mixing film. The thinner film comes in longer rolls and costs less per square foot. Some people only laminate one side all together to save money.

Before you jump on board with mixing laminating film thicknesses, keep in mind that there is a little work involved in getting things properly set up. If you don’t want to mess around with a trial and error process, you are probably better off keeping the mil thickness the same on the top and bottom. If you want to try mixing film, whether it is for a certain look or to simply save money, here are my personal recommendations.

  • Roll LaminatorsCore Size – While you may be mixing the mill thickness of your laminating rolls, you cannot mix the core size of the film. If you’re laminator has 1″ mandrels, only use film with a 1″ diameter core.
  • Mandrel Tension – Because you are using film of different thicknesses, you will need to adjust the tension on the mandrels accordingly. Failure to adjust the tension can result in curled film. You want your film to come out of the roll laminator flat and flush. If the film is curing up, you may need to relieve tension on the top mandrel or increase tension on the bottom mandrel. This will involve a little trial and error work on your part.
  • Temperature Settings – Different film thicknesses (and brands) require different temperature settings. Thicker film often requires less temperature because it retains the heat longer. If you are using a 1.5 and a 3 mil film, you will have to play around with the temperature settings until you find that “sweet spot.” Most glossy laminating film has a melting temperature between 260 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit. I recommend starting low and working your way up. If the film is cloudy, you will need to turn up the temperature.

Once you have figured out what your laminator likes, I recommend jotting the settings down on paper so you can get things up and running in just minutes after the next roll change. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

You can find our entire selection of roll laminating film here and roll laminators here.

Most Popular Roll Lamination Film Widths and Core Diameters

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Roll Lamination FilmIf you own a roll laminator and need to keep it up and running, you are going to need to roll lamination film. Roll laminators use two separate rolls of film. One is used to coat the bottom of the document and the other is used to coat the top of the document. Combined, the finished results look great and can be used with posters, signs, banners, maps and much more. So what are the most common roll widths, core diameters and thicknesses used today?

Roll laminators come in dozens of different sizes, however, the most common width is 27″, followed by 25″. These sizes of roll laminators are popular because they are affordable, can be used to laminate posters as well as multiple letter-size documents. You will find both 27″ and 25″ roll laminators in schools, churches, copy centers and businesses.

Roll Laminating FilmBeing that 27″ laminators are extremely popular, most people looking for roll film need it in a 27″ width. The 27″ width is by far the most common and popular size with customers. This film comes with 1″ and 2 ¼” core sizes. The core is what slides onto the laminator’s mandrel. The mandrel is the metallic bar that the roll film slides onto. The 1″ core size is by far the most common size.

Now that we have determined the width an core size, what is the most common roll film thickness? While film comes in 1.5, 3, 5, 7 and 10 mil thicknesses, the 3 mil thickness is the most popular. This is because 3 mils (3 thousandths of an inch) is accepted on most laminators. Thicker 5, 7 and 10 mil sizes require laminators that are a bit more robust and capable of heating up the thicker film.

Most Popular Roll Laminator Film Specifications

  • Roll Width: 27″
  • Roll Core Diameter: 1″
  • Roll Laminator Thickness: 3 mils

At ABC Office, we offer a great selection of roll film in a 27″ width. We also offer film with a 1″ core and 3 mil thicknesses. We also offer a great selection of 25″ film, 12″ film, 18″ film and much more. You can find our entire selection of 27″ roll laminating film here and our entire selection of roll lamination film here.

If you have a roll laminator, but don’t know the core size or the thickness it can accept, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We are very familiar with most laminators including those made by Ledco, Banner American, Tamerica, GBC and many others. You can find our entire selection of roll laminators here.

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