Cold laminating is causing a sea of dimples

D3D

New Member
I have a glossy, thin (.033") printed PETG sheets that I need to mount to a 3mm-3/16" substrate. The laminator is running fine and the technician is skilled but we are getting a relatively uniform wavy pattern across the surface of the print. We typically mount to rigid plastics, in this case we have mounted to 3mm Sintra and a 3/16" foam core and gotten the same problems, we even tried using an optically clear adhesive which I know is very even in its adhesive thickness. Are these substrates just too uneven to mount shiny, thin plastic too? Its not necessarily unattractive but certainly wasn't expected. See my photos, one is mounted and the other is not.

2 mounted.jpg
1 unmounted.jpg
 

FactorDesign

New Member
I'm not sure if this applies to your own use case, but we've had problems with mounting blockout graphics 2nd surface on acrylic sheets that weren't perfectly flat, so we had to use a dense foam pad around 3/4" thick as a sled under the acrylic to help make up for the uneven pressure due to the irregular surface. This usually works but not always, depending on how bad the surface is. I've never seen it exactly like your picture, but we are also using a different process.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: D3D

JBurton

Signtologist
If you really want to get this to work out with a foam type core, you may look into Ultraboard products. I think they have a more robust face stock, maybe 10 mils thick of some sort of plastic, that may actually be flat, though I'm not sure they go down to 1/8". Though now that I think about it, doesn't sintra have a rigid face material?
 
  • Agree
Reactions: D3D
I hate foamboard so much. We generally try and encourage people to go PVC/sintra.

Uh sorry, are you applying vinyl to substrate with the laminator, or laminating that's causing the issue? I think I misunderstand
 

D3D

New Member
Ultraboard did not work in our case. The solution is something super rigid and flat like acrylic or dibond
 

JBurton

Signtologist
Ultraboard did not work in our case. The solution is something super rigid and flat like acrylic or dibond
Ah, what's the end application for this?
Or is this even a problem, just an application that didn't work and a curiosity of other's experiences?
 

D3D

New Member
End application is hanging signage. We ended up settling on foam core that was mounted with the most minimal amount of pressure, it didn't solve the problem but it is better than what we were seeing with the Sintra. Surprisingly we also mounted the artwork to coroplast after the fact and it was much better than either foam or sintra, which left me scratching my head.
 

JBurton

Signtologist
End application is hanging signage. We ended up settling on foam core that was mounted with the most minimal amount of pressure, it didn't solve the problem but it is better than what we were seeing with the Sintra. Surprisingly we also mounted the artwork to coroplast after the fact and it was much better than either foam or sintra, which left me scratching my head.
I'd reckon the coro has a bit more consistency, since it's extruded with flutes? Whereas the foams are reliant on the consistency of the foam making up the core?
I'd be curious how PVC would perform. It seems to be mighty consistent in it's thickness and density, I use it for a spoilboard on my router.
 
Top