Decorative Laminate Technical Information
Storage, Forming & Handling
These notes are intended as a guide to the processor, particularly the vacuum former, as good practice for the proper storage, forming and handling of the Bright Chrome ABS and similar products. If you have specific questions that are not covered here or in the general notes, please do not hesitate to contact us.
For the Bright Film product please refer to the Soliant Product Bulletin (005) and the Processing Guide (Rev 20.08.02), to become familiar with the properties of the Bright Film, before forming the Bright Film laminated sheet.
Sheets typically comprise of four component layers;
Protective Carrier Film - This protective film has to be removed carefully before placing the sheet in the clamp frame. Simply pull at a sharp angle, keeping hands close to the sheet the entire time that the protective film is being pulled. This will avoid de-laminating the "Diamond Coat".
Diamond Coat – This top coat laminated over the decorative film is available in gloss and matt finishes.
Decorative Film – The film laminate. This is the thin patterned/coloured layer.
Substrate – High surface quality (usually) ABS sheet, available from 0.5 to 12mm (.008" to 0.5".)
Storage & Handling
Sheets should be handled with care and stored in the original packing to prevent contamination. Material should not be stored outdoors and avoid extreme conditions; temperatures below 0°C and above 35°C, and humidity over 80%. As ABS is hygroscopic, pre-drying at 60°C for 24 hours is often necessary to guarantee optimal quality during and after processing (as with non-laminated ABS sheet).
The materials form best with good quality well finished aluminium tooling featuring water temperature control set at 40 deg C, the film needs fast cooling to help maintain its 'brightness'. Heat using bottom heaters only, the final sheet temperature should be 155 deg C plus or minus 10C, too high temperature causes whitening, blistering and iridescence. The Bright Film maximum recommended stretch is 50%, too much stretch causes hazing/whitening.
Once formed, we recommend that a proprietary protective film be applied to the material to protect it from damage during trimming.
Finished Parts Handling
As with all decorative surfaces, care must be taken when handling parts to avoid damage to the finished surface. Personnel should wear soft or latex gloves and nesting of finished parts should be done with care, ideally soft tissue or cloth should be placed between parts. Packaging should be such that movement of parts in transit is minimised.
Plastic-Sheets can supply laminated films to a variety of substrates in both sheet and roll-stock formats. Many of our Decorative Films have low minimum quantities, when laminated to stock substrates. All decorated sheets have a DC (Diamond Coat) top coat laminated to them, this coat is available in a gloss or matt finish.
Acrylic based films are available in 610mm (24") wide rolls. Some are 915mm (36")
Chrome Films are available in two roll widths; 1,190mm (47") and 1,448mm (57")
Paint Films can be produced up to 1,470mm (58") wide
Substrates can be specified wider than the foils, allowing customers to use an optimum sheet with minimum foil. Stock substrates are available in the US from 300mm sq’ (12” sq’), to 1825 x 915mm (72” x 36”), in black, white, grey and natural ABS. Some Acrylic and TPO substrates are also stocked. If you require a custom size, colour or thickness of substrate, these can be extruded to meet your needs. We will be pleased to quote for your requirements.
Decorated sheets are laminated in a clean room environment that utilises specialist equipment designed specifically to exceed the quality standards that decorated sheet demands. Sheets are supplied with a protective film that protects the high quality “Diamond Coat” finish during shipping, storage and handling. This is removed before processing.
If you are interested in a pattern or colour that is not in the range – challenge us! We will be happy to see if it is practical for production.