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The following article is meant to serve as an overview of the operating temperatures of reverse transfer printers and lamination stations. Not all printers are equal, and all printers come with their own default settings for the temperature at which they run. If you are using a reverse transfer printer or laminating your cardstock you should always be certain to use a composite cardstock of no less than 60% PVC and 40% polyester. This blend is extremely durable and will not be affected by the high temperatures of reverse transfer printing or lamination.
The temperature on printer drivers and LCD displays are in Celsius and thus all discussions regarding printer temperatures are in Celsius (and not Fahrenheit).
REVERSE TRANSFER PRINTERS
Reverse transfer printers print the card image on a transfer film and in a second step the film is fused to the plastic card (this is a different process than the more traditional dye-sublimation, direct-to-card (DTC) printing process).
Many ID card printers have the option of adding an extra protective layer (also called overlaminate) to the plastic card. This lamination step takes place after the card is printed. Lamination can take place on both a DTC type printer and a reverse transfer type printer. The laminate that is applied to the card comes in a separate roll.
ADHERING THE FILM TO THE CARD
The process for applying the transfer film to the card is similar to the process for applying a laminate to a card. The following describes this process to join the film to the card using pressure and heat:
Reverse transfer type printers use a very high temperature for merging the transfer film to the card. The temperatures can be between 150 C and 200 C.
To add lamination to a card, the laminate is pressed to the card with rollers for a certain amount of time and heat is applied. This temperature can vary from one printer to another, for example:
For connecting both transfer film and lamination to a card, the card moves down the card path and moves through heads and rollers that "squeeze" and heat up the film to apply onto the card. The faster the card moves down the card path in the printer, the higher the temperature needs to be to join the film or laminate to the card. In other words a certain energy is needed to make the film or laminate stick to the card and this energy can be delivered with a lower temperature with longer dwell time (slower moving card) or it can be delivered with a higher temperature with a faster moving card (shorter dwell time). The definition of Dwell is "To linger over" or "The time during a process which an item is in the vicinity or motionless". This dwell time can vary from printer to printer:
If you'd like to learn more about this article feel free to contact ColorID today and we'll analyze your existing ID system.
About ColorID, LLC
Every year, ColorID assists more than 1000 colleges and universities and their project managers personally oversee 700 custom projects each year, including many small and large recarding projects. ColorID offers best-in-class products and solutions, including: contactless, smart and financial cards from every major manufacturer, multiple ID printer platforms; transaction and point-of-sale software and hardware, a variety of handheld devices for identification and tracking applications and biometrics solutions, including fingerprint and iris readers. The company’s manufacturing partners include: Iris ID, HID, Fargo, Datacard, CardSmith, Gemalto, Zebra, NiSCA, Evolis, Allegion, Aptiq, Magicard, Brady People ID, Integrated Biometrics, Oberthur, NBS, Vision Database Systems and many others.
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