How To Fix 6 Common Problems With Laminating Film

Written By Allen King

I purchased my first machine back in 1982 and started protecting portfolio books for photographers. 30 years later, I’m proud to say Express Encapsulating is the largest encapsulating business in the UK, with the aim of protecting the nation’s print from damage, so print can look better, for longer, no matter where it ends up.

Published On September 13, 2022

Don’t want to read the full guide? Download the pdf.

Laminating print can be difficult with many machine variables to consider. With over 30 years creating beautiful film-sealed print, we know the most common issues to look out for and how to correct them. In this article we break down the most common causes of laminating problems and explain how to fix them.

With over 30 years creating beautiful film-sealed print, we know the most common issues to look out for and how to correct them. In this article we break down each of the most common causes and explain the problem and suggest solutions.

Problem 1 – Straight wave lines across the film

We see this a lot in laminating jobs. Straight wavy lines appear across the surface of the laminating film. More often than not it’s due to excessive front roller pressure pushing down on the film. The fix is to simply loosen the front roller pressure gradually until the waves disappear.

Problem 2 – Concave waves across the film

Unlike straight lines this is where lines that bow down are seen across the film. This is because incorrect tension is being applied to the film. The tension is unbalanced and the rear roller pressure is pulling the film causing it to be skewed. To fix the issue, loosen the rear back roller pressure gradually until the issue is fixed.

Problem 3 – Angle waves on the sides of the film

Angle waves down both sides of the film output is generally caused by the film tension at the rear being too low. The film tension is unequal, creating the lines on the film. To fix the problem, tighten the rear roller pressure gradually until the issue is resolved.

Problem 4 – Angle waves on one side of the film

Having angle waves just down one side of the film is down to insufficient tension on the rear roller pulling the film unequally. Increase the rear roller left or right pressure until the issue resolves itself.

Problem 5 – Straight vertical lines down the film

Straight lines or rippling of the film is caused by heat and not tension. Specifically it’s excessive heat at the nip rollers. To fix the issue gradually reduce the roller temperature until the waves disappear.

Problem 6 – Wake waves on the film

These waves on the film represent the wake of a boat, hence the name. If you have curves waves originating from the centre of the film you have insufficient heat at the nip rollers. By increasing the roller pressure gradually you will resolve the issue.

At Express Encapsulation we’ve got over 35 years’ experience in making print last longer and look better. For more information about lamination and encapsulation, and to find out how we can help you with your print finishing, please contact me on 01179 414 999 or email me on sales@expressencap.co.uk.

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