Laminator not heating {Solved} – Causes and how to fix

Laminator not heating {Solved} - Causes and how to fix

If you have worked with a laminator machine then you are aware of the two most common issues; either you do not get the film to stick properly or you are having bubbles under the film. At times the issue is your laminator not heating properly. Whatever the issue with your laminator you are going to experience delays if you do not fix it fast.

The roll laminator is used for banners, signs and presentation covers. To laminate properly you need the right amount of heat. When you have too much heat then you are going to end up with laminate that is wavy while if you do not have enough heat you end up with laminate that is cloudy and silvery. To solve this adjust the heat up or down.

Here are some reasons for bad laminate


You need the right balance of heat and speed. If your laminator speed is high then less heat is actually being transferred to the laminate and you end up with silvering documents. On the other hand, if your speed is too low then too much heat gets transferred to the laminate and you end up with waviness in your documents. There cases where your laminator lacks a speed setting, in this case you will have to adjust the heat. When working on your documents try finding the right setting for both speed and heat.


Heat is required for laminating. You can have too much heat in which case you get wavy laminate or you have less heat and you get cloudiness or silvering. Heat adjustment will enable you have the right laminate. Ink can boil when you have numerous hot spots on the roll. Part of the reason for bubbling is due to leaving the machine idle for a long time.


Tension is something that is set when you are purchasing your laminator. It is not recommended that you change the tension. However, if you notice that you are experiencing excessive air bubbles, curling or cupping then you need to tweak the tension. If you are running the same type of film on both sides of your laminator then you need to set the tension on both rollers to be the same. Insufficient tension causes air to be trapped between the print and the film. Correct tension is dependent on the thickness of the film. When feeding your print ensure you do not do it faster than the laminator speed.


Dust has a negative impact on the laminated documents as it causes them to appear speckled. You can remove dust from your roller with a special tool called the PCR roller.

Adhesive buildup

Another key challenge with laminator not heating is that your rollers due to usage and age could be cracked, damaged and have adhesive buildup. This will manifest itself via small dots or sections where the lamination has not being fully implemented due to the lack of heat. What happens is that every area of the laminate where the roller touches and that has adhesive buildup or a gouge develops on the roller results in an un-laminated spot. You can solve this problem by replacing the rollers or cleaning up the adhesive buildup.

Silvering in documents
Laminator is not getting enough heat
Waviness in documents
There is too much heat being generated
Excessive curling or air bubbles
Need to tweak the tension
Speckled documents
Dust in the laminate
Un-laminated spots
Damaged or cracked rollers

Important laminating tips

Besides, the above issues there others you will face while using your laminator like the film not sticking. This is mostly common with digital print and is mainly as a result of the ink composition. If you are using extremely dense ink then it is going to be harder for it to stick to the film. When laminating you should leave some time for the print to cure before you can start the process.

Films also vary with different inks, stocks, and machines. There is no standard film. What this means is you are going to get different results depending on the kind of film you choose to go with. Low quality films will produce poor results.

When using a laminator and it is not doing the job right you can try turning on the laminator some time before you start the job. If you start immediately while some parts are still cold you are going to get different patterns on the laminate.

At times the problem is that the print won’t lie flat even after encapsulating. If this happens, you will need to adjust the laminator tension and use the same from top to bottom. If you have one part having more tension than the other then you are going to be stretching the laminate more. You should also use the same film on both sides so as to prevent curling. This will happen when there is a heavy film on one side while the other part has a thin film.


Laminators are great for laminating banners, signs, documents, and presentation covers. However, if your laminate is not generating enough heat you may experience small un-laminated spots that can be an eyesore. Getting the right amount of heat is crucial if you want the right end product.


Why is my laminate wavy?

It could be that there is too much heat being generated. The reverse is true when you do not have enough heat as you end up with cloudy and silvering laminate. If both scenarios happen you will need to regulate your heat up or down

How do I adjust the laminator tension?

The laminator tension determines how much a laminator is stretched when it comes out of the laminator. Unless you are an expert you should not adjust your laminator tension by yourself. However, if you notice that you are receiving a lot of air bubbles and excessive curling then you may need to tweak the tension

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Allen Scott
Allen Scott is a technophile and has been handling tech gadgets for over 10years. According to Allen, most people are not aware of the new technologies developed that they can adopt to boost production in their respective industries. Businesses are still using old technological equipment that are less efficient and repair intensive. The above is the reason why Allen came up with comprehensive excerpts on different types of technological gadgets. So, as we move deeper into the techworld, it is important that the developed technologies be fully utilized. The Future is tech and the earlier everyone embraces this idea, the more fulfilling and efficient their lives will be. The above goes for both the developer and equipment user. Allen is a father to one and a husband, he loves traveling and during his free time, he loves to unravel the mysteries behind the development of the various tech gadgets.