Glossary of Terms | What is the Best Laminator & More | USI Laminate


Ever wonder what a mandrel is?  How about a tacking iron or a triplet lens?  Does the term gripper dog have you puzzled?  Below you can find the answer to these questions and many others.  Its our unique version of a "dictionary".

Click one of the links below to move to your category of interest:

Banner Materials and Substrates
Cold/Tape Laminating
Cutters & Trimmers
Dry Mount
Laminating Film
Overhead Projectors
Photo ID Cameras
Pouch Laminators
Roll Laminators
Transparency Film


Aqueous - Water-based.  One type of printing ink.  Various banner materials and substrates are characterized by their acceptance of aqueous inks.

Solvent - One type of printing ink (versus Aqueous). Various banner materials and printing substrates are classified by their acceptance of solvent-based inks.

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A4 (21 Holes) - Punch and bind wire where 21 holes are punched per inch.

2:1 - Double loop 21-hole wire binding type where two holes are punched per inch.  21 total holes punched along the 11" side of a paper.

3:1 - Double loop 32-hole wire binding type where three holes are punched per inch.  32 total holes punched along the 11” side of a paper.

4:1 - Binding style where four holes are punched per inch.

5:1 - Binding style where five holes are punched per inch.

19 Ring Wire - 19 ring wire is double loop wire that has been made to fit through holes made by a plastic comb binding machine.  Also known as Spiral-O wire.

Binder Type or Binding Element - The type of supply used to bind your document such as Plastic comb, double loop wire, plastic coil, velo (book binding), or thermal cover.

Crimping Pliers - Used with coil binding, crimping pliers cut off and bend the excess coil after the coil has been inserted.

Die - The part of the binding machine that punches the paper.

Disengaging Die - The ability with some binding machines to fully control which holes are punched or not.  This feature is NOT available on most binding machines. Disengaging dies are not to be confused with interchangeable dies – see definition below.

Electric Punch - Punch paper with the touch of a button or foot pedal.

Interchangeable Die - Interchangeable dies are dies that can be completely removed from the machine and be replaced with a new die.

Legal (24 Holes) - Punch-and-bind wire designed for 24 holes on the 14” side of an 8-1/2" x 14" sheet of paper.

Legal-Size - Documents that are 8-1/2" x 14".  24 holes are punched on 14” side of paper.

Letter-Size - Documents that are 8-1/2" x 11".  19 holes are punched on 11” side of paper.

Mandrel - A cylinder looking unit that is used with coil binding machines with a coil inserter. The coil winds around the mandrel before being inserted into the punched document. The size of the mandrel depends on the size of coil being used.

Manual Punch - Pull a handle to punch holes in paper.

Margin Depth - How close holes are punched to the edge of the paper. There are usually 3 positions.  Binding machines can have either fixed or adjustable margin depth.

Margin Guide - Paper adjustment for accurate hole pattern.

Maximum Comb Size - The largest number of pages a comb will hold. Example: 2" comb will accommodate 425 sheets of paper.

Max Comb Size - The largest number of pages a comb will hold. Example: 2" comb will accommodate 425 sheets of paper.

Nipper Clamp - The part of the paper binding machine that squares off the book cover and wraps it neatly around the bound document.  If the book cover is not cut prior to binding, an additional paper cutter may be needed to cut of any excess paper.

Oversized Covers - 19 holes. 8-3/4" x 11-1/4"

Pitch - The style of holes punched by a binding machine.  Hole spacing depends on the pitch of your binding machine.

Preset Punching Dies - Fixed punching pattern only punches letter-size documents. Some units also do legal-size documents.

Punch Capacity - The number of sheets of paper a machine punches at a time.

Selectable Dies - Punches between 2 and 21 holes, providing a pattern that will work for any size document.

Spiral-O Wire - 19 ring wire that is double looped and has been made to fit through holes made by a plastic comb binding machine.

Waste or Catch Tray - The part of the machine that catches the punched out pieces of paper created during the paper punching process.

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Adhesive Transfer - Tacking adhesive on back of document with a release liner.

Built-In Corner Rounder - Rounds the corners of a document.

Cartridge - Holds rolls of tape.

Dual Laminate - Laminate on both sides (encapsulated).

Laminate / Adhesive Transfer - Laminate on top with adhesive on back.

Laminate / Magnetic Back - Laminate on top, magnet on back.

Refills - Rolls of tape that must be placed into cartridge.

Release Liner - Paper backing peels away to expose a pressure-sensitive adhesive.

Single Sided Laminate - Laminate only on image side of document.

Tape Lamination - Non-heat activated film process, permanently tacky film fed from a film cartridge.

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Block-Style - Guide Bar Ensures the blade is constantly cutting a smooth, straight edge along document.

Clamping Bar - Keeps board from moving.

Electric Cutters - Utilize a pushbutton or foot-pedal control for hands-free operation.

Foot-Activated Control - For high production or larger banners that require both hands to align the document.

Heavy Duty Trimmer - Uses a 2-bar stabilizer system that prevents sway during the cut. For light- to heavyweight laminates and materials.

Industrial-Strength Trimmer - Uses the 2-bar and block stabilizer system when trimming. Also handles board stock.

Light-Duty Trimmer - Uses a single stabilizer bar for lighter weight materials.

Rotary Blade - Circular blade that rolls across the document.

Rotary Cutters - Use a circular blade. Most rotary cutters cut in both directions.

Self-Sharpening Blade - No need for sharpening, sharpens itself during use.

Straight Blade - Cuts cleanly through foam board products of various thickness without crushing or tearing.

Substrate Trimmer - Used to cut foam board, gator board, polystyrene, glass, and acrylic.

Substrate Cutters - Utilize a straightedge knife-style blade that cuts across the substrate in 1 direction.

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Colormount® Tissue - Permanent heat-activated tissue for mounting resin-coated photos.

Dry Mount Tissue - Permanent heat-activated adhesive for mounting porous papers or resin-coated photos.

Platen - Teflon®-coated plate provides consistent uniform pressure.

Pressure-Adjustment Knobs - Adjusts uniform pressure onto documents.

Release Paper - Reusable, protective overlay made of smooth, silicone-coated paper. Protects the inside of the machine.

Sponge Pad - Yellow pad located in base of dry-mount press.

Tacking Iron - Tacks document into position when dry mounting. Prevents shifting during the mounting process.

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Acid-Free  - The adhesive and plastic are free from acidity, which can damage photos and other acid-sensitive documents.

Adhesive Resin  - Bonds to the document.

Butterfly - Film folded in half resulting in a border-free pouch. This type of pouch is intended for laser-ready plastic and other inserts. There are no sealed edges.

Copolymer Adhesive - Premium-grade adhesive resin, requiring a lower bonding temperature. Used for photographs, color copier papers and clay-coated surfaces. The adhesive will stick to some plastics, vinyl and metals.

Crystal Matte - Reduces reflected light for easy viewing.

Deep Crystal - Durable matte finish with a granular sand like texture. Reduces incidental scratches.

Foam Board - Substrate for mounting documents.

Glossy - Glass-like appearance.

Low-Density Adhesive - Economical adhesive that requires a higher laminating temperature in order to melt or bond the film. Used with porous papers.

Matte - Slightly granular texture. Write-on capabilities, accepts pencil, pen or marker.

Mil Weight - Thickness of lamination film. The higher the mil number, the thicker the film.

Mylar - Type of laminating film.

Polyester - Type of laminating film.

Poly In - The term “Poly” is a reference to the adhesive side of the laminate film.  For 1" core and 3" core roll films, the film is wound Poly In.

Poly Out - The term “Poly” is a reference to the adhesive side of the laminate film.  For 2-1/4" core roll laminating films, the film is wound Poly Out.

Polyolefin Shrink Wrap - 75-gauge removable film is FDA-approved for sealing food. Used with shrink-wrap packaging systems.

Pouch - Layer of polyester base and a layer of adhesive resin hinged at one side.

Pouch Board - A foam board that has a heat-activated mounting adhesive and a laminating film overlay. Used for 1-step mounting and laminating.

Pressure-Sensitive Adhesive - Clear film coated with 2 adhesives. One side of the adhesive adheres to a specific print media while the other adheres to a specific surface. All cold adhesives come with release liners that keep film from adhering before desired time.

Pressure-Sensitive Laminating Film - Cold film requires no heat or very limited amount of heat. This type of film has a paper or clear release liner, which needs a take-up mandrel on the roll laminator.

Pressure-Sensitive Pouch - A self-stick adhesive layer on the back of a laminating pouch. After lamination, the protective release liner is removed and the document is affixed in the desired position.

Ratio - Used to express the film and adhesive composition. Example: 3/2 which is 5 mil. The first number represents the polyester base film, and the second represents the adhesive.

Regular - Two sheets of film held together by a 1/8" seal on the leading edge. The seal makes it easy to align document.

Rounded Corners - Corners of pouch are rounded.

Satin - Soft glare-free look.

Self-Adhesive Board - Substrate for mounting documents. This substrate has a pressure-sensitive adhesive, protected by a paper release liner.

Shrink Wrap - 75-gauge film for sealing packages use with shrink wrap packaging systems.

Single-Sided - One side has laminate, back has cardboard mount backing. Only visible through one side.

Slot - Pre-cut slot in pouch which can be horizontal or vertical.

Splice - Film splices are the point where two pieces of laminating film are joined together on the same roll.  Splices are not common, but do occasionally appear.

Square Corners - Corners of pouch are square.

Thermal - Heat activated.

Tru Crystal - Crystallized matte finish for inkjet prints and digital graphics.

Ultraviolet - UVA and UVB blockers act as screens, protecting documents from fading.

Vinyl - Film with more elasticity than polyester films. They are softer and more flexible.

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Closed Head - The closed head stays dust free, requires less cleaning, and keeps fingerprints from the lens surface and mirrors.

Doublet Lens - Projects a 50" x 50" image at a distance of 6´6" since the image is projected through 2 lenses instead of 1.

Electronic Projection - Accomplished with the use of either LCD panels or multimedia projectors.

EVW, ENX, EVD, FXL, ENG - Types of overhead projection lamps.

Lamp - Light source projected through transparency film or LCD panel then passed through a series of lenses and mirrors to illuminate image on a screen or wall.

Lamp Change Feature - Spare back-up lamp in case of a bulb failure.

LCD Panels - PC or laptop is plugged into the LCD panel. Images that appears on the PC monitor are then projected onto the wall or screen.

Lumens - Light output (2000 lumens is adequate in a dark conference room).

Open Head - Easier to fold down for storage and easier to adjust the head/mirror angle to the screen.

Reflective - Transmits light from the projector head down onto the stage glass and reflects back up through the transparency.

Roller Attachment - Accommodates standard-size write-on rolls. Easy mounting for front-to-back or side-to-side operation.

Screen Size - Dictates magnification possible from projector to screen.

Singlet Lens - Projects a 50" x 50" image at a distance of 5´6" and provides a good quality center image.

Transmissive - The light source is in the base of the projector. The light is transmitted up through the stage glass, through the transparency film or LCD panel then to the projector head.

Triplet Lens - Projects a 50" x 50" image at a distance of 6´2" and provides the best clarity.

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2-Shot Camera - Primarily used for passport photography that requires a 2" x 2" photo. Takes photos of 1 or 2 subjects.

4-Shot Camera - Takes 1 or 2 photos of an individual at a time. Take 1, 2 or 4 subjects.

Aiming Light - Position beam of light on subject's chin for centered placement.

Face Brightener - Improves subject's contrast with the background by highlighting skin tones.

LCD Panel - Liquid crystal display panel that displays words and characters providing instructions regarding the photo taking process.

LED Panel - Panel of indicator lights showing progress through each step of the photo taking process.

Point-and-Shoot Camera - Point aiming lights and shoot picture.

Pull Film Indicator - Alerts user that film is ready to be pulled from the camera.

Selection Control - Allows the operator to select number of shots on an individual sheet of film.

Timer Feature - Calculate the exact time required to properly develop the film.

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Back Rollers - Finishing rollers (4-roller machine).

Carrier - Protective sleeve for pouch.

Clouding Effect - Film is not clear after lamination which means not enough heat is used.

Cooling Tray - A flat surface for exiting lamination to cool down and prevent curling.

Front Rollers - Feed rollers (4-roller machine).

Orange-Peel Effect - Using too much heat.

Platens - Heat source.

Pouch - Precut lamination film sealed on one edge.

Spring-Loaded Rollers - Allow for the ability to laminate and mount.

Stitched Carrier - Carrier with special stitched leading edge used with 2-roller pouch machines.

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Bottom Mandrel - Holds bottom roll of film.

Color Code System - Helps easily match up the correct side of the roll laminating film to the correct mandrel on a roll laminator.

Cooling Fans - Located at rear of machine to cool film and prevent curling.

Dual Temperature Control - Adjusts temperature of each individual shoe or roller.

Electric Reverse - Pushbutton that reverses the drive of the rollers when depressed.

Feed Guide - Helps guide document into laminator.

Feed Table - Used to set document on before feeding into laminator.

Friction Stud - Located on upper/lower right side housing that mandrels fit into (ARL, CSL, MiniKote).

Gripper Dog - Metal tooth protruding from mandrel surface that grips cardboard film core located on upper/lower mandrel.

Heat Guard - Protects hands from hot heat shoe when feeding document into laminator.

Heated Roller - A laminating roller that also heats up. A heated roller melts the adhesive of the laminating film and applies pressure at the same time (HRL).

Heat Shoe - A stationary aluminum heater that melts the adhesive of the laminating film prior to entering the laminating rollers (ARL, CSL,CRL, MRL).

Idler Bar - Film passes behind idler when loading film. There is an upper/lower idler bar.

Manual Reverse - Free floating hand crank that will reverse rollers when depressed and turned.

Pressure Adjustment - Lever lock rotates by hand to adjust roller pressure for board mounting (CRL42 Plus, MRL 42, HRL).

Pressure-Sensitive Take-Up Mandrel - Mandrel peels away the release liner and rolls it up for easy discard.

Single Temperature Control - Adjusts both heat shoes at the same time.

Slitters - Cutting device used to automatically trim 1 or 2 sides of the exiting laminated document.

Threading Board - Used to push film into laminator when loading film.

Upper Mandrel - Holds top roll of film.

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Black Image On Clear Background - Black writing on clear transparency film.

Computer Graphics - Create text or image on computer, then print out transparency on printer.

High Heat  - Preshrunk and stabilized film used in copiers that use extreme heat to fuse the toner.

Infrared - Film is notched to remind user that there is a preferred imaging side to the film.

Laser Printer Film - Coated on both sides with a customized coating that is designed to accept the dry toners from laser printers.

No Stripe - Films for copiers not requiring a sensing stripe.

Paper Backed - Paper is attached to back of film to streamline the feeding process into copier.

Plain-Paper Copier Film - Coated on both sides with a customized coating that is designed to accept the dry toner used in all copiers.

Plain-Paper Copier Machines - Replace normal paper with a special PPC transparency film and make a copy as normal.

Printed Stripe - Films for copiers requiring a sensing stripe. Stripe is printed on film.

Removable Stripe  - Films for copiers requiring a sensing stripe. Stripe can be removed from film.

Write-On Film - Write or draw directly on a sheet or roll of film using marking pens.

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