Written October 17, 2019
Wide-format is generally considered to be any machine wider than about 25", although some "desktop" machines may be as wide as 44". Wide-format laminators usually feature heated rollers and additional feed/take up shafts. They are capable of mounting, single-sided lamination and single-pass encapsulation. Pressure-sensitive (cold roll) models are also available.
Heated Roll Laminators
One or more rollers are heated for the purpose of applying thermal and heat-set films. Heated roll laminator models are available for a wide range of applications, including wide-format graphics, book-cover lamination, passport, ID and specialty products.
Cold Roll Laminators
Cold roll laminators are designed to apply pressure-sensitive or "cold" over-laminate films and mounting adhesives. They are generally less expensive than heated roller laminators but offer less flexibility.
Pouch and Passport Laminators
Pouch laminators are heat aided machines that have greatly simplified the lamination process. As the name implies, a pouch laminator encapsulates an image, graphic or document on both sides with a thermal laminating film. The use of the pouch laminates minimizes the set up required when webbing a standard laminator. Although widely used for passports, printed documents and smaller graphics, larger format pouch machines are available.
Liquid Lamination Systems
Liquid laminating is a process of coating graphics with a wet clear coat. The resulting dry film offers benefits similar to conventional lamination. Liquid coating systems are available in a wide range of sizes, from credit card size processors to extremely large systems for outdoor graphics. UV curable systems are often used to speed dry.
Office or School Laminators
These laminators are generally in the small to medium format range, and include both pressure-sensitive and pouch models. For less experienced users, pressure-sensitive models have the advantage of not requiring heat, which makes them both safer and easier to use. Conversely, pouch laminators do use thermal laminate films, but they require fewer setup skills of the inexperienced user.