Lay Flat - What is lay flat?
A property of materials that allows them to remain flat throughout the printing process and their intended application. Lay flat is an important characteristic for materials that are to be used to produce sheets of pressure sensitive labels; in particular, it is important that the backing sheet is made of a material with good lay flat properties, but it is also a consideration for all of the materials used in the construction of sheet labels. During the printing process, sheets of labels are exposed to a variety of forces that can cause materials to curl; for example, sheets are often transported through printers using multiple sets of rollers, and are usually exposed to heat and/or pressure along the way. If a material has a tendency to curl, the labels may begin to peel off the backing sheet during or shortly after the printing process, or they may be too distorted for a successful application to a substrate. Curl is a common problem in heat-based printing methods, such as laser printing or thermal printing.
The lay flat of a material can be improved by adding additives to the material during manufacturing or adding a coating; latex is often used to improve the lay flat of materials and is used to produce latex impregnated paper (latex is added to a material before the web is formed) and latex saturated paper (the web is saturated with latex after it has been formed).Go Back to Glossary