A laminate is a material constructed by uniting two or more layers of material together. The process of creating a laminate is lamination, which in common parlance refers to sandwiching something between layers of plastic and sealing them with heat and/or pressure, usually with an adhesive. However, in electrical engineering, lamination is a construction technique used to reduce unwanted heating effects due to eddy currents in components, such as the magnetic cores of transformers.

The materials used in laminates can be the same or different. An example of the type of laminate using different materials would be the application of a layer of plastic film — the "laminate" — on either side of a sheet of glass — the "laminated" subject. Vehicle windshields are commonly made by laminating a tough plastic film between two layers of glass. Plywood is a common example of a laminate using the same material in each layer. Glued and laminated dimensioned timber is used in the construction industry to make wooden beams, Glulam, with sizes larger and stronger than can be obtained from single pieces of wood.

Examples of laminate materials include Formica and plywood. Formica and similar plastic laminates (such as Pionite, Wilsonart or Centuryply Mica are often referred to as High Pressure Decorative Laminate (HPDL) as they are created with heat and pressure of more than 5 lbf/in² (34 kPa).A new type of HPDL is produced using real wood veneer or multilaminar veneer as top surface. Alpikord is one of these laminates produced by Alpi spa.

Laminating paper, such as photographs, can prevent it from becoming creased, sun damaged, wrinkled, stained, smudged, abraded and/or marked by grease, fingerprints and environmental concerns. Photo identification cards and credit cards are almost always laminated with plastic film. Lamination is also used in sculpture using wood or resin. An example of an artist who used lamination in his work is the American, Floyd Shaman.


Lamination was invented by Dr. Morris M. Blum, a doctor of dental medicine in New York, in 1938. Although the field of applied dentistry today uses advanced dental laminates, the practice dates to the mid-1800s, when clear plastic resins were first used to cap and bond to the enamel surfaces of teeth. Dr. Blum, however, saw a different use for the thin shells of laminate material: the protection of photographs. In 1938, Dr. Blum laminated the first photograph -- one of his wife -- and lamination was born. To this day, the University of Minnesota recognizes his achievements with an annual Morris Blum Memorial Lectureship.

Types of laminators

Three types of laminators are used most often in digital imaging:
* Pouch laminators
* Heated roll laminators
* Cold roll laminators

Film types

Laminate film is generally categorized into these five categories:
* Standard thermal laminating films
* Low-temperature thermal laminating films
* Heatset (or heat-assisted) laminating films
* Pressure-sensitive films
* Liquid laminates

ee also

* Carbon-fibre reinforced plastic
* Composite material
* Epoxy
* Glass-reinforced plastic
* Laminated bow
* Sandwich structured composite
* Wood

External links

* ['s Wood Laminates Wiki] - Heaps of practical information on working with wood laminates
* [ All about thermal laminating films and lamination]
* [ An Introduction to Laminating Systems and Materials]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Laminate — Lam i*nate, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Laminated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Laminating}.] [See {Lamina}.] 1. To cause to separate into thin plates or layers; to divide into thin plates. [1913 Webster] 2. To form, as metal, into a thin plate, as by rolling.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Laminate — Lam i*nate, v. i. To separate into lamin[ae]. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Laminate — Lam i*nate, a. [See {Lamina}.] Consisting of, or covered with, lamin[ae], or thin plates, scales, or layers, one over another; laminated. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Laminate — Laminate,   Singular Laminat das, (e)s, die Schichtpressstoffe …   Universal-Lexikon

  • laminate — (v.) 1660s, to beat or roll into thin plates, from L. lamina thin piece of metal or wood, thin slice, plate, leaf, layer, of unknown origin. Many modern senses are from the noun meaning an artificial thin layer (1939), especially a type of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • laminate — [v] cover with veneer coat, exfoliate, face, flake, foil, foliate, layer, overlayer, plate, separate, split, stratify, veneer; concept 172 Ant. strip …   New thesaurus

  • laminate — ► VERB 1) overlay (a flat surface) with a layer of protective material. 2) manufacture by placing layer on layer. 3) split into layers or leaves. 4) beat or roll (metal) into thin plates. ► NOUN ▪ a laminated structure or material. ► ADJECTIVE …   English terms dictionary

  • laminate — [lam′i nāt΄; ] for adj. [ & ] n. [, lam′init, lam′ināt΄] vt. laminated, laminating [< ModL laminatus < L lamina: see LAMINA] 1. to form or press into a thin sheet or layer 2. to separate into laminae 3. to cover with or bond to one or more… …   English World dictionary

  • laminate — [[t]læ̱mɪneɪt[/t]] laminates N MASS A laminate is a tough material that is made by sticking together two or more layers of a particular substance. A new insulating laminate has just been designed by Attwater and Sons... Thick sections of the… …   English dictionary

  • laminate — UK [ˈlæmɪnət] / US / US [ˈlæmɪˌneɪt] noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms laminate : singular laminate plural laminates a substance that consists of several thin layers of wood, plastic, glass etc …   English dictionary

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