Chrome vs Rubber Lamination Rollers: What's the difference?

proTIP #38


Not all laminators are created equal.

Depending on the jobs that you typically run, you may be better off with a chrome roller machine over against a rubber roller machine, or vice versa. Here's why:

Chrome roller machines, such as our Bobcat S38M, are typically used for single-sided applications.

They have superior heat penetration - meaning that the chrome roller heats up and melts the adhesive layer of your film faster, resulting in a better bond to digital prints. The chrome material and added pressure of the roller also make it ideal for the SLEEKpro process where we need heat and pressure to adhere the foil to digital toner.

Rubber roller machines, on the other hand, are ideal for two-sided applications, mounting and encapsulation.

Encapsulation is where the film creates a seal all the way around the print. E.g. menus, or any printed piece that needs protection from liquids, etc. Rubber rollers make this possible because the rubber flexes slightly around the sheet, allowing the laminate to adhere around the print. Additionally, if you can adjust the gap between the rollers on your machine, you can mount vinyl or laminate onto a hard substrate (foamboard, etc.) for signage.

The different roller combinations have their distinct purposes, and rubber roller machines, like the LAMpro Puma D28M seem to be more common in print shops. But where clients are looking at adding SLEEKpro embellishments to their offerings or doing a lot of single-sided work, they start looking at entry-level single-sided machines like the LAMpro Bobcat S15M

If you're still unsure about which machine you need for your shop, be sure to give our team a call. We're always happy to help!
Create an elegant wedding invitation using SOFTpro Black & SLEEKpro foil
proTIP #36