Environmental Conditions for Laser and Inkjet Products

Achieving optimal success with layflat laser and inkjet products includes ensuring the best environmental conditions. From acclimation and storage of unconverted materials all the way to processing through the end user’s printer, environmental conditions can make a difference in product performance.

For best results, aim to maintain the following conditions:

  • Consistent temperature of 72° F
  • 50% relative humidity (RH)

These conditions offer paper the best ability to retain its characteristic moisture level. For example, when paper gains or loses moisture, it actually expands or contracts. It’s similar to the way a wood door or window in your house might stick shut on a humid day. When two pieces of paper are laminated to each other, which is essentially what pressure-sensitive labels are, and one begins to take on or give off moisture, you end up with stress.

And stress = curl.

Both temperature and relative humidity are important. Often, relative humidity is overlooked, but it can actually have a greater negative impact on products if not achieved.

A ‘climate-controlled' room should not only have heating and air conditioning that will keep the room comfortable at 72° F but also a humidifier or de-humidifier to return or take away moisture from the air. Facilities that are not properly climate-controlled lack sufficient RH levels.

In the unfortunate circumstances that your facility includes a very large area that prohibits consistency of ideal environmental conditions, the best advice is to try to avoid converting on extremely humid, dry, or rainy days. Adjusting your production schedule will be easier than trying to sheet, jog and package curled material. You can also recommend to your end-user to load less material into trays on humid, dry, or rainy days as well, which will also help limit exposure to harsher environmental conditions.

Check out Mactac’s laser/inkjet on-demand printing solutions!