The lamination process is a viable solution for combining materials in multiple layers to provide improved strength, insulation, stability and appearance. This process can be applied to several different materials, including plastic, paper, foam, glass, metal, wood and more – with numerous different ways to complete the process.
One of these ways is known as flame lamination, which is the process of exposing the desired material to an open flame, which creates a layer of molten polymer on the surface. Once the thin layer of molten polymer is created, another material is brought into contact with it and is allowed to cool, finally compressing the two layers and combining them together.
Here at Archbond, we are the experts in all lamination processes, from Flame Lamination, Foam Lamination, Infrared Lamination, Hot Melt Adhesive and PUR Adhesive Lamination for a wide selection of sectors. In this blog, we will explain why the process of flame lamination is so important, outlining what exactly the process entails, presenting the benefits and discussing the many industries and materials it can be applied to.
The process of flame lamination
The process of flame lamination is rather fascinating. Indeed, the outcome presents a vast array of benefits, bolstering the positive properties of the materials combined exponentially. The process simply involves heating the surface of a material with a controlled flame, then pressing them together using specialised machines with high pressure and control. The speed at which the material is passed through the open flame will determine the strength of the bond between the materials. The most used material for flame lamination is polyurethane foam, which is then combined with another textile.
Let’s look at the exact steps of what happens in this incredible process:
- The desired materials are first prepared by having them cut and shaped to the specified size and design, with any surface contaminants efficiently removed.
- The materials are then preheated to a temperature that is just below their melting point to make them more receptive and pliable to bonding.
- The material is then fed through the lamination machine with a controlled flame making direct contact with the surface of one of the materials. The flame heats the material to create a thin layer of molten polymer – if the material is foam – which is ideal for bonding.
- Once the thin molten layer is created, the second material is pressed onto the molten surface, with high amounts of pressure and heat allowing the two materials to successfully bond together.
- The two materials then rapidly cool, which compresses them together to create a cohesive bond.
The benefits of flame lamination
Flame lamination is one of the most efficient and cost-effective methods of laminating materials – especially foam. The wide myriad of benefits also includes:
- No adhesive required – this eliminates the risk of bond failure and saves on costs.
- Fast process – flame lamination is one of the quickest laminating processes compared to alternative methods.
- Viable for many materials – flame lamination can be used on polyurethane foam as its core material and combined with so much more.
- It’s eco-friendly – Without the need for an adhesive, the materials used can be easily recycled compared to other methods.
Applications of flame lamination
Owing to the numerous benefits that flame lamination has to offer, it is one of the most common methods of laminating materials. There are several sectors and industries that utilise flame lamination for their products. Indeed, the automotive, industrial and sporting industries all use flame lamination for various reasons. One of the main applications is foam swimming pool covers, as flame lamination makes these covers strong and durable, in addition to making it possible to produce covers in a variety of sizes.
Some of the other most common applications of the flame lamination process include:
- Car interiors, seats and automotive trims
- Waterproof clothing
- Fabrics for air mattresses and wetsuits
- Insulating beverages
- Medical equipment
- Sporting equipment
Endless possibilities with Archbond
The possibilities are seemingly endless and for good reason. The versatility that flame lamination offers are second to none – with its fast process, flexibility, durable strength and environmentally friendly materials, you’ll always get the desired product every time from Archbond.
Archbond is the UK’s best supplier of premium swimming pool covers, as well as providing laminated products for a wide range of other sectors, including sports, automotive and industrial.