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Glossary of Terms Commonly Used in Laminating, Coating & Converting


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ADHESION – The holding of two or more materials by surface attachment.

ABRASION RESISTANCE – The ability to withstand rubbing without degradation of the material.

ABSORBENCY – Capable of taking in or soaking up a liquid into a solid material.

ADHESIVE – Any substance applied to the surface of a material that binds them together and resists separation.

ADHESION PROMOTING PRIMER – A coating that allows an adhesive to better bond materials together.

AQUEOUS-BASED ADHESIVE – An adhesive that contains water instead of synthetic solvents as the primary solution.

BATCHING – A method of attaching similar bolts of materials together to create a large roll for processing.

BIAS – The direction of a woven fabric , usually at 45° to its warp and weft threads.

BLEED-THROUGH – The soaking of a liquid through both sides of a fabric.

BOND STRENGTH – The anchoring strength of two or more materials that have been laminated.

COHESION – The separation within a layer of a multilayer structure where the adhesive strength is greater than the material strength.

COLOR SHIFT – A change in the color intensity after processing.

COLOR STABILITY – The ability to maintain color consistency after processing or exposure to external conditions such as sunlight.

CONTAMINATION – A foreign substance, such as dirt or loose threads in or on a material.

COPOLYMER – The combination of two or more polymers used in the formulation of an adhesive to increase its performance characteristics.

CORE – The cardboard tube used to roll up a material.

CURL – Tendency of a laminated product to roll up or down at its edges, usually as a result of excessive heat or tension.

DELAMINATION – the separation of two materials that were either thermally or chemically bonded together.

DENIER – The weight and fineness of fiber yarns.

DIMENSIONAL STABILITY – The ability to retain its shape during processing.

DWELL TIME – The amount of time laminating materials are exposed to heat and or pressure for bonding.

EMULSION – A mixture of two or more liquids that are normally immiscible (unmixable or unblendable).

ENCAPSULATE – To wrap or entirely seal materials together so the inside material is no longer exposed.

FLUSH CUT – The trimming of an edge of material to create a record -like edge finish.

FILLING YARN (WEFT) – The yarn that is woven back and forth through the warp yarn in a weaving process.

GAUGE – The total thickness of a material usually measured in thousandths of an inch (mil). 

GLOSSY – The surface of a film that has a shiny or glass like appearance.

LAMINATION – A product made by bonding together two or more layers using thermal or adhesive technology.

LEADER – A fabric, paper, or film used to thread a machine to prevent damage of a customer’s material

MASTER ROLL – A term used to describe a manufactured roll from which smaller rolls are cut from.

MATTE – A low or non-reflective surface of a film.

MICRON – A measurement of thickness of a material where 25 microns equals 1 mil (or 0.001”).

MIL – A term used for the thickness of a material measured as one thousandth of an inch (0.001”).

MSI – The abbreviation for one thousand square inches.

NIP – The contact rollers to bond materials together in a laminating machine.

NONWOVEN – A material that is not woven or knitted but produced by the interaction of a chemical and heat to randomly bond fibers together.

PEEL STRENGTH – The measurement of strength of the adhesive, usually measured on a resistance tester and recorded as grams or pounds.

POLYMER – A high molecular compound formed by the addition of smaller molecules to create a resin such as polyethylene or nylon.

PRIMER – The first coat of a coating to seal the base surface, such as the sealer used on a wall before applying the adhesive for a wallcovering.

PRESSURE SENSITIVE ADHESIVE – An adhesive which forms a bond when pressure is applied to the adhesive to adhere itself to a material or surface. Also referred to as PSAs (pressure sensitive adhesives).

PVC (VINYL) – A term used to describe poly vinyl chloride, generally a multi-purpose film used in laminating and various processes and products.

RELEASE LINER – A paper usually coated with silicone on one side; used when winding sticky adhesives, such as pressure sensitives.

SATURATION – In printing terms, the vividness or degree of color density. In chemical terms, the inability to absorb any additional liquids.

SELVAGE – The surplus edge of a fabric, normally finished to prevent unraveling.

SOLVENT – A liquid capable of dissolving another substance. As an example, water is a solvent for salt.

SPLICE – How material ends are joined together to make a continuous length, normally done by taping or sewing.

SURFACE TREATMENT – The application of an electrical or chemical treatment to improve the surface of a film.

TEXTURED SURFACE – The effect of having an embossed surface, usually as the result of high pressure laminating.

THERMAL BONDING – The method of bonding materials together using heat instead of adhesives.

TUNNELING – A term used when one laminated material, usually a film, separates from the other material creating a horizontal or vertical pocket.

WARP YARN – The lengthwise threads in a weaving process on a loom.

WEB – The term used to describe routing a material through a coating or laminating machine.

WEFT – The yarn that is woven back and forth through the warp yarn in a weaving process.  See Filling Yarn.

WETTING – A term used to describe how evenly a liquid coats onto a film. The higher the wetting, the more even the coating will dry.