Are you looking for advice from an expert in large-format media ?

Our team of experts have decades of experience within large format media and hardware. They are on hand to offer advice and assistance, whether you are a screen printer, sign maker, interior designer, advertiser, printer, agency or other visual communication professional.

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Andy Stalmach, Claire White and Paul Duffy are just some of our large format experts. They all have a wealth of knowledge in the specific areas detailed below so if you require information on the Antalis product range, the relevant technical information, knowledge of the markets or product applications, please feel free to get in touch.

In addition, we also have an extensive FAQ section below that offers answers to the most common queries we encounter that may save you valuable time.

Finishing and Lamination

Andy Stalmach

Andy Stalmach

Innovation & Creative Consultant
Claire White

Claire White

Hardware, Colour Management & Large Format
Paul Duffy

Paul Duffy

Based at our head office in Leicestershire, Andy, Claire and Paul have access to a hub of information for anyone interested in large format digital print.

With access to digital machinery, they can offer live demonstrations and real life application case studies to help inform and educate you, whether you are a traditional printer looking at investing in wide format technology or a digital printer looking to expand your business portfolio and maximise the potential of your machinery.

Contact the experts

FAQ's

What is the background to Large Format Inkjet printing?

It was first established in the late 1980’s, the machines were oil or waxbased pen plotters. The early pioneers were architects and designers, there were a very limited range of substrates. The original machines were very slow and suffered with ink clogging and head strikes, the substrates were slow drying and needed lamination and in short this was a highly technical sales area.

Today’s machinery could not be more different; there are various types of inks, UV in this instance, lamination is not required in many cases and there seems to be an endless and growing list of substrates which are inkjet printable.

Machinery today is affordable and easy to operate and Large Format printing is prevalent across many commercial markets across the UK and Ireland.

 

What is the technology involved?

These machines use either Piezo or Thermal technology essentially using a combination of electric charge and heat to emit the ink from the printhead onto the substrate.

 

Who manufactures the Technology?

The major manufacturers are Hewlett Packard, Jetrix, Oce, Vutek Agfa, Durst and Inca.

 

Are there different ink types?

No, there is only one type of UV ink which is both very durable and solid and bonds to the surface of the substrate that it is printed on using UV light.

 

Are there differences between these printers and Water-based/Latex/Solvent printers?

Yes, both in terms of the inks used and the fact that it is possible to print both flexible and rigid substrates.

 

Are there various types of UV printers available?

Yes, there are entry level UV hybrid printers which can print both flexible and rigid media at relatively slower speeds. At the other end of the scale there are UV flatbed printers that can print on virtually any substrate and in some cases, up to five metre width at much greater speeds. There are also mini UV printers which can print goods for the promotional goods market.

 

Is the media that is printed suitable for indoor or outdoor use?

Both! Media printed with UV inks is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

 

What are the main applications?

As well as the applications listed in the Water-based and Latex/Solvent FAQ’s there are many applications for printed rigid media:

  • Point of Sale material
  • Indoor signage
  • Shepherd direct signage
  • Outdoor signage
  • Hoarding panels

 

What products do Antalis sell for this technology?

Antalis stock a range of market leading rigid substrates that cover all aspects of this market. Key brands include Antecote Lite, Coala, Correx, Printbond, Dilite, Foamalite, Forex, Kapa, Libra and Xanita. Find our full range and filter by UV ink compatibility on our helpful SUBSTR8 product selector.

 

What collateral is available?

The range is illustrated in our excellent Visual Communications brochure. As well as this, there are an excellent range of samples and brand specific collateral; please contact your local branch for more details, or find and order samples from our SUBSTR8 product selector.

What is the background to Large Format Inkjet printing?

It was first established in the late 1980’s, the machines were oil or waxbased pen plotters. The early pioneers were architects and designers, there were a very limited range of substrates. The original machines were very slow and suffered with ink clogging and head strikes, the substrates were slow drying and needed lamination and in short this was highly technical sales area.

Today’s machinery could not be more different; there are various types of inks which will all be explained in this series over the coming weeks, lamination is not required in many cases and there seems to be an endless and growing list of substrates which are inkjet printable.


What is the technology involved?

These machines use either Piezo or Thermal technology essentially using a combination of electric charge and heat to emit the ink from the printhead onto the substrate.


Who manufactures the technology?

The major manufacturers are Canon, Epson and Hewlett Packard.


Are there different ink types?

There are two different types of inks, Dye and Pigmented. Dyes were the original ink technology and these were not very vibrant but susceptible to fade. Pigmented inks were introduced later and are more light-fast.

All Water-based inkjet printers that are currently produced use Pigmented inks. There are still some machines that use Dye inks within our customer base so we have ensured that the range of products we sell are suitable for both.


Is the media that is printed suitable for indoor or outdoor use?

As the inks are Water-based the media that is printed is not waterproof and is therefore for indoor use and can only be used outdoors if the climate is suitable.


What are the main applications?
Typical applications include the following:

  • Exhibition & Event graphics
  • Fine Art
  • Photo/Poster printing
  • Proofing/Plan printing

 

What products do Antalis sell for this technology?

We sell a wide range of substrates including the Coala range of inkjet media. Coala is our exclusive Antalis Pan European range which comprises of Adhesives, Films, Papers, Specialities and Textiles. Find our full range and filter by UV ink compatibility on our helpful SUBSTR8 product selector here.


What collateral is available?

The range is illustrated in our excellent Visual Communications brochure. As well as this, there are an excellent range of samples and brand specific collateral; please contact your local branch for more details, or find and order samples from our SUBSTR8 product selector.

What is the background to Large Format Inkjet printing?

It was first established in the late 1980’s, the machines were oil or waxbased pen plotters. The early pioneers were architects and designers, there were a very limited range of substrates. The original machines were very slow and suffered with ink clogging and head strikes, the substrates were slow drying and needed lamination and in short this was highly technical sales area.

Today’s machinery could not be more different; there are various types of inks, Latex & Solvent in this instance, lamination is not required in many cases and there seems to be an endless and growing list of substrates which are inkjet printable.

Machinery today is affordable and easy to operate and Large Format printing is prevalent across many commercial markets across the UK and Ireland.


What is the technology involved?

These machines use either Piezo or Thermal technology essentially using a combination of electric charge and heat to emit the ink from the printhead onto the substrate.


Who manufactures the Technology?

In terms of Latex the major manufacturers are Hewlett Packard, Mimaki and Ricoh.

In terms of Solvent the major manufacturers are Hewlett Packard, Mimaki, Mutoh, Roland and Seiko


Are there different ink types?

There is only one type of Latex ink; in fact despite its name the inks are water-based inks using aqueous-dispersed polymer technology.

In terms of Solvent there are two types of ink. The first, Full Solvent, the original Solvent ink; machines that print these inks require ventilation in the immediate vicinity as these inks contain potentially harmful compounds. The second, Eco Solvent inks, have less harmful compounds and can be used without any ventilation.


What are the differences between Latex and Solvent technology?

Latex is the newer of the technologies and there are some major differences between this and Solvent. Firstly media that is printed using Latex inks will be dry immediately it is printed, whereas media printed using Eco Solvent and Full Solvent inks takes time to dry and for the Solvents to gas off. Secondly Latex inks contain no Solvents therefore there is the potential positive environmental impact. Thirdly Latex inks are fused into the substrate using heat rather than solvent.


How do I get further advice/information?

You can use our SUBSTR8 product selector tool to help you find substrates suitable for your requirements. Use the handy filters to select by texture, application, finish or eco credentials then request further information or samples. Alternatively please contact your local branch for more details.

What is the background to over-laminating films ?

Print over-laminate films have been available for over 25 years. The film and adhesive technology has improved over the period to produce the high tech over-laminating films used today.


What types of adhesive are used?

Water-based acrylic dispersions and solvent acrylics. Water-based adhesives are used on our Interlam Pro, Bio and Eco ranges, while solvent acrylics are used on our Protac and WeatherShield ranges. Solvent adhesives are better for use in external applications.


Are there different surface finishes available?

Yes, many different surface finishes are available. These include (but are not limited to) Sand / Crystal textures, Linen, Canvastex, Steel and Leather effects.


What thickness films are used?

20 -200 micron. Glossy films tend to be thinner and more pliable, while heavy textures such as our 190 micron Canvastex film offers a realistic canvas effect on any laminated image.


What types of film are available?

  • PVC/Polyester / Polypropylene / Bio-degradable are the main types used.
  • Polyester films include some of our Protac range
  • Polypropylene films include our Interlam Eco range of over-laminates
  • Bio-degradable films are our Interlam Bio range
  • PVC films, which come in two varieties. Monomeric PVC includes our Interlam Pro range, and Polymeric PVC which includes our WeaterhShield range. The Polymeric PVC is much more stable, and therefore is more suitable for longer term external use than the Monomeric PVC.


What formats are available?

All Drytac laminating films are supplied in roll format. Roll widths include 650mm, 1040mm, 1300mm, 1370mm, 1400mm and 1550mm wide, and rolls are slit to 25 / 50 / 100 linear metres. Rolls are suspension-packed in boxes. Due to the weight of the rolls, all wider width material is supplied in shorter length rolls.


How long will the over-laminating film give protection?

This depends on the film type and adhesive type. UV inhibitors are present in both films and adhesive used by Drytac, which protect against UV degradation to the underlying printed image. Our WeatherShield range of laminates offer maximum UV protection, while the solvent adhesive in the WeatherShield range ensures that it continues to perform for up to 7 years.


How long should I leave a printed image before over-laminating?

Normally 24 hours is a safe period.


What products do Antalis sell for this technology?

We are the exclusive UK and Ireland distributor for the Drytac range of laminates


Do I need special equipment?

  • Simple hand fed laminators are available for small format
  • Large fully automated laminators are available for large format

 

Is heat necessary when laminating?

Heat will help the adhesive bond to the printed image and mould to the print profile.


What collateral is available?

The range is illustrated in our excellent Visual Communications brochure. As well as this, there are an excellent range of samples and brand specific collateral; please contact your local branch for more details, or find and order samples from our SUBSTR8 product selector.


How do I get further advice/information?

For further information please contact our Large Format Experts by completing the form below.

How do I overcome adhesion issues on UV printed substrates?

This normally requires a heavy coat of adhesive to prevent any “Halo” effects around the image. This will ensure the “Glue” bonds to the peaks and troughs in the textured ink.


What’s ideal for external application?

Normally, solvent based adhesives are best recommended for outdoor use, water-based can be used but the edge sealed will show signs of whitening.


What’s the best way to transport laminated graphics?

This is best to do in flat transportation mode where possible.  However, if rolled, then it must always roll “graphic” out, this ensures product will curl into substrate rather than away from it.


What’s best practice for Matched systems?

Best practice is to use like for like products. Monomerics with Monomerics. Polymerics with Polymerics. Why print on high end vinyl then laminate with a budget laminate!?


What’s recommended when webbing up your laminator?

When webbing up your laminator always run with a minimal amount of brake tension. This will ensure film is under minimum stress which will help prevent curl or delamination.

Do you have, in your range of Large Format papers, any products that are FOGRA certified?

Yes indeed, our Coala Universal Photo Paper in 190gsm and 240gsm is FOGRA certified.


Can you supply stretcher bars to use in conjunction with the Canvas you supply?

Yes, although we do not stock these we can source cost effectively for you; please contact your local branch for details.

 

Are Colour Profiles available to download?

Yes, where they are available they can be found on the homepage (bottom right) of the eShop part our website.

 

Is there a roller banner material in the range with a fire rating ?

Yes; the Coala Display Textile product has a B1 fire rating. Click here to view the full range.