After years of sitting in the shadows of film-based laminating, liquid is making a big comeback. Here’s why.

Seal and Starleaton Digital Solutions have announced several new orders and installations for AquaSeal liquid laminating systems, with more to follow.

“We are now seeing a big surge in liquid-applied lamination, particularly for large area work, continuous roll-to-roll, rigid substrates and where UV cured inks are used,” says SDS director Ben Eaton, “It seems sectors of the market are acknowledging the higher productivity and lower cost offered by liquid coatings and are prepared to invest in the higher-priced hardware to achieve this.”

aquasealuv80pro_small.jpgIn addition to the installation of an AquaSeal 60UV 1.52 metre wide liquid laminator at Brisbane’s Clegg Media, SDS has installed an SW3300 3.3 metre wide model at Boomerang Canvas and Vinyl. Darren Ross of Boomerang identifies the advantages: “The AquaSeal applies a smooth and durable coating that is perfect for PVC truck curtains, banner vinyls, car wraps, self-adhesive vinyls, kiss-cut stickers, wallpapers and so on. We continue to test new substrates for our sign and display trade customers. The roll-to-roll feature is a real advantage as a run of many posters or banners can be coated in one pass, automatically.”

Another installation unveiled in November is from Melbourne’s Q Print Finishing. This is for an AquaSeal 80UV, capable of laminating up to 2 metres wide on media up to 76mm thick. Yet another order is from Melbourne’s Sumo Graphics.

“With productivity up to 32 square metres an hour and a cost per square metre less than half of film laminating, we see many more opportunities for liquid laminators out there,” says Eaton. “Rigid substrates can be pre-coated to receive UV inks more readily. Roll media can be continuously coated without cutting into separate sheets. The coatings are water-based and UV cured, so the environment wins out too. Anti-graffiti properties add to the appeal. With the new Seal 610 Gloss, UV, solvent and eco-solvent inks are no problem to coat.”

“Film laminates will always be with us,” says Eaton, “but what we are seeing is the adoption of a faster, cheaper coating method for the high-volume and trade laminating sectors where capital costs are effectively amortised against productivity and economic gains.”

Starleaton Digital Solutions

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