Have you ever wondered how old the technology of lamination is? The technology that is so familiar to you for keeping your valuable certificates safe has a wider scope than you could think of. In general, it can be defined as making something into multiple layers to make it safer, stronger and more durable.It offers a better appearance as well. The ways to create the multiple layers include adhesives, heat, high pressure or even welding.
One may be surprised to know of welding as a means of lamination. But it is only because people are familiar with the commonest form of laminators and not beyond that. Here, you have an opportunity to peep into details of the spectacular technology.
How anything can be laminated depends on what it is composed of.And the process as well as the composition of the material to be laminated would determine the material(s) that can be used for lamination. The material employed for the purpose is commonly called laminates. If one laminates a glass sheet with the help of plastic sheet on both its sides. The glass is called to be the subject of lamination while the plastic is called the ‘laminate’.
Have you ever wondered what the source of great strength for windshields used in vehicles is?Surprisingly, it is just the opposite of the above lamination example. In this case, a plastic film is laminated on both its sides with glass!
It is also known as lamination technology, even when there is no subject of lamination, and different layers of laminates are involved only. This too enhances the strength due to ‘lamination’. A single piece of wood has less strength than Plywood of the same weight and size. It is so for two evident regions: first, the technology of lamination itself, and the other is that you can evaluate the quality of each of the laminate layers separately.
One additional benefit with lamination is that you can obtain a greater size of, say, a wooded piece than naturally available. And what is better when you are guaranteed of the strength, too? This is why lamination technology is equally reliable for making wooden beams for as stressed a component as an aircraft carriage!
Decorative laminates are not short of their strength providing property. They are still called decorative because care is taken to make the laminates more impressive and attractive. Pressure and heat are both concurrently employed to get the ‘laminate’ laminated over the ‘subject’.Maica is another example of laminates—of decorative laminates to be more specific.
The pressure employed for laminating varies with industries, materials and processes applied for the same. Generally, the commonest laminations would require a pressure of around one thousand pound per square inch. It is as high as 400 pounds per square inch even in case we call it low pressure laminate.
If one scans the entire lamination world, paper will be found to be most commonly used element in one form or the other. What are cardboard boxes, for example? Just the outcome of multiple layers of paper material! The inner layers provide strength, while the outer ones offer smooth appearance to it.
What is it on the upper surface of the photographs? That slippery feel when you touch it and the shine alluring your eyes? It too is nothing but a form of lamination. What would happen, had the photographs not been printed on such laminated papers? It would have been much cruder and less durable. But photos are to be kept for generations and lamination technology is there to help!
You can get such laminated sheets on which you can write but without worrying. You can erase the ink and write again, almost infinitely. The finer lamination technologies are known for employing ultraviolet coating as well as magnetic effects on the laminates that are applied on identity cards and other key cards that can serve people with unique identity and tokens for entry to exclusive places they are authorized for.
So, the next time you think of laminators, think of infinite varieties and nothing less!
Author Bio: Having my background in science at university, I have a special interest in writing on science and technology niches. I believe science is the means of emancipation of humanity, both on material as well as intellectual fronts. Laminators the core topic of this write-up—havecome a long way of development through last decade.