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Curling Issue with laminated vinyl post-plotting

Discussion in 'Labels and Decals' started by Melissa C, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. Melissa C

    Melissa C New Member

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    I am currently printing on an HP Latex 570 (typically printing around 40 meters at a time) on 3 mil vinyl and then laminating on a Royal Sovereign RSC-1402HW laminator with 3 mil matte laminate. Once the stickers have been plotted, the edges always curl up. I have played with the tension on the laminator (consistent tension on both stock and lam, higher tension on stock than lam, higher tension on lam than stock, no tension at all, highest tension on stock and none on lam) and nothing seems to stop the curling.
    We have installed the correct profile on the HP to ensure we are not getting over-saturated prints but we have no steps for off gassing. Is that a necessary step for latex printing?
    Otherwise, is there anything I can be doing to prevent curling? I have checked the laminator and it heats up to approx 115, but not a consistent temp across the roller. There is no way to adjust the temp either. It's either on or off.
    We are also getting a bit of silvering even though the temp is on, and I am laminating at the slowest speed.
    I'm at a loss, any suggestions are helpful.
     
  2. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    What brand/line of vinyl and lam are you using?
    Also, have you tried just plotting unlaminated prints to see if it's the print media or the lam?
    I see you've tried lots of different tension settings, what about nip pressure(pressure between the two rollers)? More often than not there is way to much pressure put on the media, making it come out wavy.
    Don't worry about outgassing, latex has that one benefit. In fact, with mine I find I have better results going straight from the printer to the laminator.
     
  3. Melissa C

    Melissa C New Member

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    We are using BriteLine vinyl and lam. I have tried plotting unlaminated and they lay perfectly flat, but higher-ups insist on laminate. I did try adjusting pressure settings as well, with minimal change in curling, but with a significant increase in silvering.
     
  4. BlueMoonATL

    BlueMoonATL Member

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    You may try backing off the tension to the minimum that it will take for the laminator to work correctly and get good results. It sounds to me that this is where the issue would be.
     
  5. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    I generally crank my rollers together until they touch, then give them 1/6 of an extra turn, then I put a significant amount of tension onto the laminate, and not nearly as much on the vinyl itself. If they tend to plot flat without the laminate, then it would indicate the laminate is causing the issue. If your up for trying other materials I can help, as I have a 560, but otherwise I'm not sure about briteline or royal soverign laminators.
    I personally use arlon 3420 satin for calendared laminate, as far as silvering, the duller finish keeps it from 'shining' nearly as much as gloss, and it goes down very well, allowing me to plot without issue. Calendared prints are usually 3m ij35c.on my 560, it works beautifully, but I'm running a gfp th63 laminator, which has heat but we seldom use it.
    Quick thought, do you have the printer, laminator and plotter all in the same room, same temp, same humidity? Could your vinyl come out of the printer hot, go to a cold room to laminate, then to a hot room to plot?
     
  6. RICHARD SIMMONS

    RICHARD SIMMONS Member

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    Do you let it dry enough time before lam ??
     
  7. Melissa C

    Melissa C New Member

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    The printer cures the ink as its printing, so everything is completely dry before it gets laminated.
     
  8. Melissa C

    Melissa C New Member

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    All of the equipment is in the same temp controlled room. Usually stays between 72 and 75.
     
  9. Melissa C

    Melissa C New Member

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    I'll give that a try!
     
  10. Lindsey

    Lindsey Not A New Member

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    Things to try.

    1. No heat during laminating. Cold lam.
    2. No tension during laminating. Lowest tension you can possible get away with.
    3. Leave a small 1/8" white border/edge around the perimeter of the decal design. No colour at the edge.
     
  11. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

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    Try and keep the tension the same on the laminate and the vinyl.
     
  12. Melissa C

    Melissa C New Member

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    Ive tried no heat, and the lam that we use requires it or else it just silvers like crazy.
    I'm running the lam on the lowest tension possible and it seems to be helping but they still end up curling a little bit.
    Unfortunately, I cannot control the design of what I am printing, I merely print and fulfill orders. Bosses want full bleed, so thats what they get.

    We had a rep come out and take a look at our processes and equipment and he suggested that the laminator we are using doesnt have a large enough nip roller for the kind of product we are making, so we will probably end up getting a different laminator instead of wasting any more time tinkering with settings.

    Thanks to everyone who gave suggestions though!
     
  13. 2B

    2B Very Active Member

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    before you buy another laminator, there are SEVERAL points that need testing.

    Are you using CAST or CAL material? Print and Lam
    How many passes are you printing?
     
  14. Melissa C

    Melissa C New Member

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    Its cal vinyl and we're doing an 8 pass print on an HP Latex 570

    Just to add, I am not the one making the decision on whether or not to buy a new laminator. I am merely a cog.
     
  15. Bobzo

    Bobzo New Member

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  16. 2B

    2B Very Active Member

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    Who and why so many passes?

    There is the culprit, using a CAL material (betting both print and lam) along with a heavy ink saturation.
    I am also willing to bet you are doing a full bleed imprint.

    2 options come to mind:
    * Add a white border, a minimum of 1/8" per side, with this much ink I would do 1/2" +
    * Change material (print & lam) to CAST
     
  17. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    I'm getting ready for the flood of mocking messages, but I run my 560 at 20 passes most days. Even on garbage calendared vinyls. My reasoning is that the printer is very seldomly used, so I am not 'tying up the printer' by any means. On something small that also promotes my business, heck yes I'd do 20 passes, most stuff at 6 passes looks washed out. I just ran a batch of construction company logos, plotted, no border, 20 passes, no curling, all on calendared ij35c and arlon 3420 satin.
     
  18. Melissa C

    Melissa C New Member

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    I am not the one who set up how and why we print the way we do. I was told this is the way it must be done, so thats how its being done. As far as a border, that again is out of my hands. Bosses want full bleed so theyre getting full bleed.
    We have tested cast materials and are getting the same results, unfortunately.
    I appreciate everyone's input but at this point, bosses want to go with new equipment, so thats whats gonna happen.
     
  19. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    I think you're either putting way too much tension on it, or perhaps sub par materials. Have you tried a sample from any of the bigger brands, 3m, oracal, avery?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. bannertime

    bannertime "You guys do banners, right?"

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    I actually let out an audible gasp. What ink density are you running?
     
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