The adhesive on a “hot” lamination film activates when the printed graphic is run through a hot-roll laminator at temperatures between 210 and 240 degrees. Because these high levels of heat can damage some types of inkjet graphics, “low-melt” or “heat-assist” films are also used. “Low melt” films have heat-activated adhesives that can applied at 185 to 195 degrees. “Heat assist” films have pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSAs) and liners and are applied with hot-roll laminators at 185 to 195 degrees.
“Cold” lamination films have a more aggressive adhesive that can be applied with pressure, instead of heat. A release liner protects the adhesive until it ready to applied, typically on a cold-roll laminator. Cold laminating films typically cost more than hot laminating films, but they can be applied using less costly, easier-to-operate non-heated laminators.