There are three primary reasons to use an overlaminate for large format graphics. These are to beautify and protect the printed graphic and, when used for floor graphics, to provide slip resistance.
1. Overlaminates Beautify.
For indoor applications, overlaminates can enhance the appearance of a print. Overlaminating films, such are RTape’s Eclypse® brand of overlaminates, are available in variety of surface finishes. Some indoor overlaminates are also available in unique patterned decorative textures.
The surface finish determines the gloss level of the print, which affects the appearance of the image. Which surface finish is best depends largely on the lighting conditions under which the print will be viewed and the application for the graphic.
2. Overlaminates Protect.
The second reason to use an overlaminating film is to protect the print. Exterior grade films provide a barrier protecting graphics from damaging UV light, air pollution, moisture, chemical damage and abrasion. Without an overlaminate, graphics can easily be scratched. Paper posters used for indoor promotions can easily be torn without a protective laminate. And unprotected graphics can also be easily vandalized with pens, markers and paint.
3. Overlaminates Provide Slip Resistance.
The third primary use of an overlaminate is to ensure a floor graphic is slip-resistant. In this applications, overlaminates are rigorously tested. The standard industry test, the American Standard for Testing Materials (ASTM) D2047 exam, checks the coating’s coefficient of friction. In layman’s terms, this is the force required to move one material over another. In short, the ASTM test measures the traction pedestrians could expect when walking on a floor graphic.