Laminating pouch for heat sealing

IBM size 83mm x 59 mm 2x125µ=250 micron

These might better be called encapsulation pouches, since they laminate and seal the edges. Two sheets of laminating film are each coated with heat sensitive glue. This will stick the sheets together, or stick to any material inside the sandwich. For ease of use the two sheets are pre-stuck along one edge. The sheets are separated, then a leaf of inner material is inserted. It is easy at this stage to make adjustments, to centre the inside, since the glue is only sticky when heated.

The sandwich, pouch plus inside, is fed into a laminating machine. This has rollers which feed everything through between heated plates. These melt the glue which fuses into the insides, and also around the overlap on the edges.

For comparison a credit card is 86x54. The IBM card is a little more square. It is shorter (by 3mm) and taller (by 5mm) than a credit card (when viewed in landscape mode).

Sales literature quotes this card as a quarter of a millimetre in thickness. That includes both parts of the pouch. To avoid confusion we emphasize 2x125. The inner material thickness must also be allowed for if calculating overall thickness. To calculate the thickness it is best to measure the thickness of ten or twenty cards and then divide the result.

250µ is fairly normal thickness for these pouches. They will pass through all hot laminators without trouble. Cheaper machines may not be able to handle the thicker 350µ thickness, especially if the inner material is anything more than 80gsm paper (normal office paper thickness). Larger ("industrial") machines will handle 500µ. They have heated rollers as well as hot plates to prolong the time the internal glue has to melt into the inner material.

We would suggest that the interior material is cut to 3mm less all round. This means each dimension is reduced by 6mm, to give 77x53. Experienced, and careful, users will not need to allow quite so much for the encapsulating edge. Conversely some people may wish to leave a larger allowance. Experiment and do what seems best for you. The whole point of encapsulation will fail if the edge springs open when in use




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