Card lamination

The process called card lamination is the application of a protective polyester film onto a card’s surface to protect it from wear and tear and UV rays, and to fight forgery.

In general, this action is performed in two steps by the machine: first, it prints, and then applies the film. The varnish or film is applied at a very high temperature. This temperature is out of reach of a traditional print heads, and therefore, requires special equipment: a laminator.
Laminators feature hot rollers that provide temperatures in the 280-375° F (140–190° C) range. With such temperatures, laminators actually ”stick” the lamination material onto the PVC card.

Types of films

The different types of lamination material generally fall into two main categories:

  • Patches: thick films in PET that will protect a card for several years (5 to 10).
  • Varnishes: thinner films that will protect cards for 2 to 3 years.

Both materials can be translucent (protection against UV radiation) or with holograms (protection against UV radiation and forgeries).
A patch film offers identical patches or alternate patches (for dual-sided lamination). Multiple design layouts can be combined to match different requirements:

  • Application on the full surface of the card
  • Layout for cards that have a magnetic stripe
  • Layout for contact smart cards
  • Half-card layout (vertical cut)

The varnish film, similar to a monochrome ribbon, is continuous, and does not require adjustment or positioning.

Card lamination with Evolis

  • Primacy Lamination stands as the ideal solution to personalize and laminate secure badges. This compact printer offers dual-sided printing and lamination, as well as advanced encoding options. 
  • The Avansia Lamination system combines retransfer printing technology and lamination to create high-quality and secure cards. It is ideal for customizing identification cards to meet the needs of large companies, organizations and governments