Laminating Pouch Carriers: Should You Be Using Them?
You may think you’ve got this laminating game down to a fine art, but let’s throw a bit of a curveball into the mix - laminating pouch carriers.
Many of you might not even know what these are, but they can have a positive effect, not just on your laminating, but also on your laminating machine.
If you do plenty of laminating and wonder whether you should be using carrier sheets, we’ve got the answers…
What is a laminating pouch carrier?
Simply put, laminating carrier sheets are used to protect the document you are laminating and your laminating machine.
There are two main reasons why they can protect your laminating machine. Over time, excess adhesive can ooze from the edge of a laminating pouch. This can build up on the rollers in your laminating machine, and this can lead to poor quality, uneven laminating. The other reason is that they can prevent ‘wrap arounds’ - which can happen when the document you're laminating wraps around the rollers and jams the machine.
One of the principle reasons to use a carrier is when you are laminating small pieces of paper in a larger laminating pouch. If you don't use a carrier you could end up with the pouch wrapping around the rollers leading to a costly repair bill.
It is always best to try to use the correct size paper in the same size pouch e.g. A5 paper in an A5 pouch. Don't be tempted to put two A5 pieces of paper into an A4 laminating pouch unless you are planning to use a carrier.
Laminating machines can come at a considerable expense, so cost-effective precautions like laminating pouch carriers are a great way of maximising the lifetime value of your equipment.
Do I need to use a pouch carrier with all laminating machines?
The short answer is no. Many modern laminating machines are equipped with silicone rollers - and this means that it’s no longer necessary to use a carrier sheet.
Some machines specify that a carrier should be used all the time like our Peak Educator Laminating Machine. This saves the customer from worrying about when to use a carrier as they know with this machine they always have to use one.
It is advised that if your laminating machine has non-silicone rollers, you do use a carrier. However, we’d always suggest that you read through the manufacturer's instructions for more specific information.
Do I need to change the way I use my machine with a pouch carrier?
It might be necessary to increase the temperature of your machine to achieve a seal on your laminating pouch when using a carrier. This is simply because carrier sheets dissipate some of the heat from the machine.
We’d always recommend that you do a test run first before you put through any important documents. This will give you the opportunity to make any changes to your machine settings.
How long can I use a pouch carrier for?
Unfortunately, this answer is dependent on a number of variables. Normally, you will be able to use the same card carrier for several boxes of pouches (a box contains 100 pouches).
However, if your pouch carrier starts to appear dog-eared, rough around the edges or has creases forming then you’ll want to replace it.
At JFK Binding, we also stock a range of long life laminating pouch carriers, called ‘Lifejackets’. These are made from Teflon, allowing the heat to penetrate the pouch and document without damaging the carrier itself. This means they last longer, and time after time you finish with excellent results on any laminator.
Anything else you want to know about carrier sheets?
We hope that our guide has covered all the main questions you might need to know about laminating pouch carriers. However, if there’s anything we’ve missed or if there’s any other questions you have then just get in touch. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have. Alternatively, you can browse our full range of laminating products here.