Binding film is a type of plastic material that can provide protective and visual benefits to a wide array of books, paper products, and marketing materials. This substance has a long history in the book binding industry. And it has since evolved to provide benefits to companies and users beyond that space.
If you’re interested in reaping the benefits of binding film, here’s a guide to the material, its benefits, and applications.
What Is Binding Film?
Binding film is a general term used to describe a piece of thin film that can be bound to a page, cover, or similar material. It is generally applied using specialized equipment that adheres the plastic using targeted heat, similar to a basic lamination process. The film was initially created to aid in the process of book binding, which is simply the practice of assembling a book’s pages, spine and cover. In these applications, binding film was able to hold components together and protect the graphics so covers and other elements could hold up well over time. Today, binding film is still widely used for this purpose. But its scope has widened a bit to also provide protective and aesthetic benefits for other laminated materials.
This film material can be made using plastic, which provides superior strength and durability to these applications. Basically, the plastic serves as an extra layer of protection over a cover or sheet. Plastics are the perfect solution to prevent elements like dust, moisture, or scratches from ruining delicate materials like book covers.
Though the specific plastic materials used in binding film may vary from project to project, they are generally referred to as thermal laminating film. This describes the process of adhering the thin layer of material over covers or pages using targeted heat applications. This essentially allows the material to be laminated over paper and other thin materials to provide extra protection or finishing qualities. It prevents the graphics from fading or other types of damage. It can also enhance the fidelity of images, words, and graphics. And the different film finishes that are available may provide extra aesthetic appeal to the finished product. For example, a user may prefer a glossy finish for a cover or matte finishes to allow graphics or presentation materials to stand out on their own.
Use Cases for Binding Film
As mentioned in the previous sections, binding film has been especially popular in the book binding industry for decades. It is used to hold various parts of books together, including the covers and spines. These plastic film materials are often chosen because of their ability to protect graphics and offer plenty of long-term durability, while still providing optical clarity that allows people to fully enjoy their favorite titles over and over again.
In more recent years, the uses for binding and finishing film have expanded even further. These materials are now used to cover and laminate a variety of marketing peripherals and marketing kitting solutions for companies across industries. Basically, these products can benefit in the same way that books can from the extra protection. And the added layer of film can even make companies look more professional when making presentations or offering marketing materials to potential clients or partners.
How Does Binding Film Work?
On a basic level, the process of applying binding film to these materials mimics that of simple lamination. There is a specialized piece of equipment used, called a thermal laminator. And the base layer of binding film is activated by exposure to heat. So the book components or marketing materials are run through the machine along with a thin layer of film. The thermal laminator activates the heat sensitive adhesive on the base film so it fully adheres to the sheet. Then the material is cooled into place so the plastic and sheet are melded together.
Specifically when it comes to book binding, the process starts with printed sheets of the book cover jacket, which are then fed into the machine. Then the thermal laminate film is heated and applied over the top of the sheet so that it fully adheres to the surface. After this lamination process is completed, each individual book cover jacket is sheeted and separated so they can be added to the rest of the book materials.
The process is fairly similar when it comes to printed marketing media. These items are fed into the machine so the film can be added. Then the sheets are die-cut into specific shapes, which allows users to generate the finished solution that is to be incorporated into the final presentation, marketing peripheral, or kit.
If you’re interested in utilizing binding film for your own applications, contact PolymerFilms to find the right solution for your company’s needs. We carry a full line of thermal laminating film solutions that are ideal for book binding and marketing applications. Our plastic film solutions come from top manufacturers and are available in a variety of materials, gauges, and sizes. We also have access to in-house conversion equipment, which allows us to convert film materials to provide the exact finish and qualities needed for each project. We also have five distribution centers throughout North America, giving our team the ability to provide personalized service and fast turnaround times on all orders. To purchase binding film for your next project or to discuss your plastic film needs with an industry expert, simply visit our website to request a free consultation.