What should I know about laminating?

posted this on Jul 6, 2015

Have you been wanting to do something to your documents to make them last longer? If so, it’s time to consider laminating them. Lamination is a pretty easy process – we even have a video that can show you how to do it. However, there are a few things you need to know about lamination before you can successfully protect your documents. Let’s get started!

First of all, you’re going to use a pouch laminator. These machines come in a number of sizes and they can laminate a variety of items such as business cards, marketing materials, technical specs, and much more. You need to use a machine that will be able to accommodate your items. For example, a machine with a 5-inch feed opening can laminate name tags but it won’t be able to accommodate letter-sized documents. However, a laminator with a 9-inch feed opening can accommodate both letter-sized documents and name tags. So choose a machine that will work with your documents.

A pouch laminator uses laminating pouches to encapsulate your documents. You need to pay attention to laminating pouch thickness, which is measured in mils. (A mil is 0.001th of an inch.) Pouches range thickness from 1 to 14 mils. A thicker pouch will provide your document with more protection and make it more rigid. Unfortunately, not every laminator can handle every pouch thickness. Thus, you’ll need to choose a pouch that both works with your machine and gives your document enough protection.

Now that you know a little bit about laminators and pouches, it’s time to start laminating. Here’s how you do it:

  • Turn your laminator on. Depending on the make and model of the machine, you may need to let it warm up a bit before use. If that’s the case, you’ll either see a light go on or you’ll hear a beep when you can start laminating.
  • Choose a pouch of the appropriate size and thickness. Place your document in the pouch, making sure it is fully encapsulated. Put the pouch in a carrier, which looks like a file folder. The carrier will help protect the interior of the device.
  • Put the carrier in the laminator’s feed opening. The folded end of the carrier needs to be inserted first.
  • Your laminator will process your item. When it’s done, the carrier will come out of the back of the machine. Set it aside and let it cool off.
  • Take your document out of the carrier and admire your work since it probably looks great. Laminate your other documents if you have any. Don’t forget to turn off the machine when you’re done. It might overheat if you leave it on.
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