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The choice between encapsulation or laminating your prints depends on two factors –
The print itself and the purpose that your print is to be used for.
Encapsulation requires heat. This is the ideal process when you need to protect both sides of your print, but your print must be able to withstand heat at high temperatures. To achieve double sided protection a heat activated thermal film is applied to both sides of the print. Heat is used to melt the glue within the encapsulation film, fusing the film together to seal the print. The print is protected and waterproof. Great for maps and posters for example.
Lamination uses pressure instead of heat to bond the film to the print. The roller stays cold and applies pressure to the laminating film with no risk of damage to your print by high temperatures. This process is ideal not just for heat sensitive media but will also protect your print on one side with film when mounting onto foam board and is suitable for roll up banner media as the print will remain flexible to ‘roll up’ as well as having film protection. This film will last up to 7 years and is ideal for outdoor applications.