An Overview of Overlaminate Film


Protecting printed materials and other products is essential to keeping an eye on the bottom line while ensuring designs stay appealing to onlookers, which is the primary purpose of overlaminate film. Explore how overlaminates deliver cost-effective solutions and several options for protecting an array of end-use products, and applications from advertising to vehicle wraps. 

Our overview of overlaminate films details the many benefits and types to help you choose the film that best serves your specific application. 

What is Overlaminate Film?

Overlaminate film is a specialized material used to protect and enhance the durability of various materials, specifically printed materials.

Overlaminate film's chief use is to safeguard printed materials from damage caused by moisture, UV rays, scratches, and abrasions. By applying overlaminate film to items like posters, signage, labels, and vehicle wraps, their lifespan is significantly extended. The protective layer also helps maintain the vibrancy of colors and sharpness of images over time, ensuring that the prints remain visually appealing and professional-looking for much longer than without the overlaminate. 

Types of Overlaminate Film

There are several types of overlaminate films to choose from, depending on the end-use requirements and specific needs of the products, graphics, or other applications. The most common types of films include:

  • Polyesters (PETs): this film type provides its best protection for up to two years (specialty PETs can offer up to five years) are best known for protecting against heat, abrasion, and UV resistance. You'll likely find this overlaminate used for vehicles and durable good applications. 
  • Polycarbonate: this type of overlaminate provides a velvet type of textured look, though matte is also an option, and isn't best suited for outdoor use.
  • Polypropylenes (PPs): best used for chemical resistance, specifically acids, which is why they are a top choice for vehicle battery applications. You'll also find these overlaminates for tabletop promotional graphics due to their abrasion-resistance qualities. 
  • Cast vinyl: high conformability and easily adhere to compound curves with a seven-year protection lifetime for outdoors. You'll find this film used for vehicle wraps, architectural applications, and end-use applications. 

Advantages of Using Overlaminate Film Products

The advantages of overlaminates somewhat depend on the type, as listed earlier, but there are several benefits that apply to all types of films:

  • Protection: The chief benefit of overlaminates is their ability to protect printed materials and other applications from external elements. They act as a barrier against moisture, UV rays, scratches, and abrasions, preventing damage and preserving the quality. This extra guard extends the lifespan of the materials, ensuring they maintain their original appearance for a longer period.
  • Durability: By adding an extra layer of film, applications become more resistant to wear and tear. The overlaminate enhances its durability, making them more resistant to fading, tearing, or peeling. This is especially important for items exposed to outdoor or high-traffic environments, such as outdoor signage or vehicle wraps.
  • Improved Visual Appeal: Overlaminate films can enhance the visual appearance of various materials. They come in diverse finishes, such as gloss, matte, or textured, offering different aesthetic options. 
  • Easy Maintenance: Overlaminates make the cleaning and maintenance of various materials easier. The protective layer can be wiped clean, allowing for the removal of dust, dirt, or smudges without damaging the underlying designs or materials themselves. This simplifies the upkeep of items like signs, displays, or labels, ensuring they remain presentable and professional-looking.

A Versatile Solution

Overlaminate film provides an array of advantages for a wide range of applications, with varying options to choose from depending on your specific needs and the material they're adhering to. The superior quality of Mactac selection of overlaminate film is why we are a leading manufacturer of them, ensuring businesses can protect their materials with confidence while extending their lifespan. Protection meets cost-effectiveness, that is overlaminate film.