How to Choose the Right Overlaminate

How to Choose the Right Overlaminate

What is an overlaminate, and how do you choose the right one? Overlaminate is a thin coat that goes directly onto a graphic and offers protection from UV light, water, pollution, and any other element that it may come into contact with. Thus, it’s a key component in extending the life (up to 50 percent!) of any large-scale graphic application. Choosing the right overlaminate makes as much of a difference as the selection of the vinyl itself, so be sure to do your research! Here’s everything you should know.

Understanding the role of quality

When selecting an overlaminate, quality comes into play more than you might think. Putting a lower quality overlaminate over an underlying printed vinyl can cause shrinkage and edge curl. However, if you’re careful about not doing this, then there is no issue with mixing cast overlaminates with different types of vinyl. Refer to the flowchart below to see how you can make sure you get it right the first time.

Cast Overlaminate

+

Polymeric or
Monomeric Vinyl

GOOD

Polymeric Overlaminate

+

Monomeric Vinyl

GOOD

Polymeric or Monomeric

+

Cast Vinyl

BAD

Cast Overlaminate

+

Cast Vinyl

GOOD

(Always use this combination)

Understanding how surface plays a part

The type of overlaminate you use will largely depend on the surface type. Cast overlaminates and cast vinyl come into play whenever you are doing a 3D application and putting multi-directional stretch into the film.

For a 2D application, conversely, you should use Polymeric overlaminate with Polymeric or Monomeric Vinyl (refer to the chart above). This would be best suited to signage, interior walls or other displays.

You can also find special types of overlaminates that are specially catered to your surface type. For instance, a textured, non-slip laminate may be just what you’re looking for on that gym floor.

Finding the right selection

While you might not realize the impact that an overlaminate has on your final product, the durability and stability that it provides will prove itself. DaVinci Technologies offers a wide selection of overlaminates that allows you to enhance your work and extend its life. You’re opting to protect your investment (indoor, outdoor, high-traffic, promotional, etc.) by selecting a quality overlaminate that will withstand the test of time. Don’t settle for a company that only has a few different types for you to choose from. Do the research and invest in your overlaminate once, so your wide format project will turn out right the first time.

Final thoughts

Looking for the right selection of top-notch quality products? DaVinci Technologies is your source for any and all wide format printing supplies and equipment. Visit here for overlaminates and any other products you may need in the process.