Re-understanding of Lamination Process (I)

The lamination process is a surface processing process after printing, and is also known as post-press lamination, post-printing lamination, or post-printing film. It refers to the laminating machine covering the surface of the printed material with a layer of 0.012 to 0.020 mm. Thick transparent plastic film forms a paper-plastic product processing technology. In general, according to the process used can be divided into two kinds of coating film, pre-coating film, depending on the film material is divided into two kinds of light film, matt film.

As a process of protecting and decorating the surface of the printed matter, the film has a large share in the post-press processing. If you walk into a bookstore, you will find that most books use this method. This is because the surface of the printed matter that is covered by the film will be smoother, brighter, stain-resistant, water-resistant and wear-resistant. The color of the cover of the books and magazines will be more colorful and difficult to be damaged, and the abrasion resistance, folding resistance, and tensile resistance of the printed matter will be improved. Moisture resistance has been greatly enhanced, protecting the appearance of various types of printed products and increasing the service life. What is most worth mentioning is that the film can largely compensate for the quality defects of the printed products. Many apparent defects appearing in the printing process can be covered after the film is covered (especially after covering the film). .

Therefore, the film coating process is widely used in China in various types of packaging and decoration prints, books and magazines in various binding forms, books, calendars, maps, etc., and is a very popular printing surface processing technology. Laminating technology entered China in the 1980s. Because of its many advantages, it has swept the country in a very short time and gradually became the darling of the surface decoration of books and periodicals.

Nowadays, people’s awareness of environmental protection has gradually increased, relevant laws and regulations have been continuously improved, and the two major problems of pollution generated during the lamination process and the difficulty of reuse during the disposal of coated products have been placed in front of people. "White pollution". Many people in the industry have doubts about the function of the film and whether it can continue to be applied. In former Order No. 32 issued by the State Economic and Trade Commission in 2002, solvent-type coating machines have been included in the third batch of elimination of backward production capacity. Catalogue of Processes, Processes and Products.

It is certain that in the future development process, the lamination technology will accept more and more tests. How will the film be developed? Is it completely eliminated or reasonably developed? These problems will become unavoidable problems in the development of the lamination process.

The status quo is worrying

When we visited exhibitions of books and products, it was difficult to see products on the foreign booths that were covered. In some developed countries, the laws and regulations on environmental protection, health, and fire insurance are relatively perfect, making it difficult for film-covered processes to develop. On the contrary, China's film-covered market presents a scene of “prosperity”. To talk about books and magazine decorations, we must talk about the film-covering process.

1. The main problems in the film coating process

Although the regulations for disabling solvent-type coating films have been introduced for many years, many small-scale film coating plants in China still continue to use them. It is understood that this process mainly has the following problems.

(1) Impact on the health of operators, and there are fire hazards

Solvent-based coatings use benzene-containing solvents, impair the health of operators, and cause significant pollution in the workshop environment. At the same time, with the continuous increase in the concentration of the surrounding organic solvents, it is very easy to cause sudden fire due to the static electricity generated by the film material. And for the surrounding environment, the film-covered factory itself is a serious source of pollution and is potentially dangerous.

(2) The coated paper and film materials are difficult to recycle and waste resources

It is understood that 80% of China's papermaking fiber is based on the recovery of waste paper, including paper, paper and paper. In the printed matter, the amount of paper on the cover of the book is also huge. If the film is used in large quantities (especially coated material), it is impossible to separate the paper from the plastic film, then the used paper over the film and the edge of the paper Paper and wool will not be recovered and cannot be degraded. This will bring about unpredictable economic losses. It is actually a waste of resources.

2. The reason why the lamination process is behind but still has a market

Why is there still such a big market since solvent-based coatings are so harmful? The following reasons more or less determine the reason for its existence. First, laminating machines using solvent-based adhesives have been used for many years. The development of the equipment is very mature, and the precision of the lamination is guaranteed. These machines are generally not easy to damage and maintenance is not complicated, and they have accumulated a lot of production during long-term use. And maintenance experience, so many manufacturers are reluctant to use this kind of solvent laminator can also be eliminated. Second, the solvent-based coating process has been promoted for decades. The technology is mature and product quality is guaranteed. Many companies and technicians are reluctant to replace their own skilled craftsmanship with a technology they are not familiar with. Third, from a cost point of view, solvent-based laminating machines are still relatively cheap. For print shops, the cost savings is to strive for profits. Fourth, although the water-based film coating process has improved the environmental problems in the production process and has avoided the damage to the operator's body, it still has many defects compared to the solvent-based film coating process, such as the product quality is difficult to satisfy.

(to be continued)

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