The process called card lamination is the application of a protective polyester film onto a card’s surface to protect it from wear and tear and UV rays, and to fight forgery.
In general, this action is performed in two steps by the machine: first, it prints, and then applies the film. The varnish or film is applied at a very high temperature. This temperature is out of reach of a traditional print heads, and therefore, requires special equipment: a laminator.
Laminators feature hot rollers that provide temperatures in the 280-375° F (140–190° C) range. With such temperatures, laminators actually ”stick” the lamination material onto the PVC card.
Types of films
The different types of lamination material generally fall into two main categories:
- Patches: thick films in PET that will protect a card for several years (5 to 10).
- Varnishes: thinner films that will protect cards for 2 to 3 years.
Both materials can be translucent (protection against UV radiation) or with holograms (protection against UV radiation and forgeries).
A patch film offers identical patches or alternate patches (for dual-sided lamination). Multiple design layouts can be combined to match different requirements:
- Application on the full surface of the card
- Layout for cards that have a magnetic stripe
- Layout for contact smart cards
- Half-card layout (vertical cut)
The varnish film, similar to a monochrome ribbon, is continuous, and does not require adjustment or positioning.
Card lamination with Evolis
Primacy Lamination stands as the ideal solution to personalize and laminate secure badges. This compact printer offers dual-sided printing and lamination, as well as advanced encoding options.