Understanding the true value of mounting adhesives

Authored by Jerry Hill, Vice President of Sales, Drytac

Mounting adhesives, sometimes referred to as double-sided adhesives or double-sided mount film, were used extensively in the early days of digital imaging, but their use has waned as the availability of speciality adhesive-backed media has increased. 

However, this practice is by no means obsolete, with mounting adhesives still having plenty to offer the modern-day print businesses due to the fact they can be used across a wide range of applications.

So, what is a mounting adhesive? The construction of a mounting adhesive consists of two layers of adhesive separated by a carrier film and protected by a release liner. Most mounting films used in digital imaging utilize pressure-sensitive adhesive, but there are some heat-activated versions available to the market.

Most mounting films are self-wound, meaning they come with one release liner leaving one side of the adhesive exposed as it winds off the roll, while some products come with two protective liners.

Going back around to the main point, in these modern days of speciality, adhesive-backed media, why would you need a double-sided mounting film? Simply put, they offer an excellent solution for a range of jobs and application work.

First off, mounting adhesives allow for double-sided printing on the front and back of media, which opens up the use of a product in a number of areas and offers a tremendous amount of flexibility to the user.

Mounting adhesives also allow the printer to address various needs for permanent, removable, and repositionable applications for work such as wall and window graphics, again increasing the overall level of flexibility for the user and allowing them to take on all sorts of work.

Focusing on application types, mounting adhesives allow users to make their own decals out of any type of media. This is especially beneficial when you need to address fast turnaround work or produce a job quickly and may not have any adhesive-backed media. It also lets you use existing media that you may have in stock, especially for short runs, saving both time and money.

Similarly, flexibility can also be seen when working with photographic film and papers that are liquid processed, which in turn means an adhesive-backed version is not practical, leaving mounting adhesives as the ideal choice.

Offset printers also understand that they can create print jobs faster and cheaper on the press and then apply the adhesive rather than print directly to adhesive-backed media. As such, this technique allows them to win more jobs.

Finally, it is important to consider customer preference. Some end-users have certain media that is specified for a print job and may not be available in an adhesive-backed version, so it may be that your only option is to use mounting adhesives to complete the job at hand.

The bottom line is that mounting adhesives can help save money, solve speciality needs, and, most importantly, enhance the creative process of building digitally printed graphics. 

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