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Everything You Wanted to Know About Rogers RO3003 Laminates

Have you shopped for laminates? If the answer is “yes,” you know that there are plenty of options, including Rogers. With a wide range of colors, finishes, and thicknesses, Rogers offers high-quality products to give your home or office a new look while protecting them from scratches, fading, and dents.

However, shopping for laminates can be overwhelming with all the choices and information to digest. So, if you’re looking for a quick reference to the main information you need, here’s your guide:

Rogers RO3003 comes with a premium-quality, high-pressure laminate that is scratch and stain-resistant. This economical option is available in a variety of finishes and colors. In addition, the products are covered by a 15-year manufacturer’s warranty against fading, peeling, or denting.

All of the Rogers laminates operate in a zero-landfill facility. As a result, the manufacturing process generates no waste, and all offcuts are recycled.

Rogers RO3003 single-sided laminates come in 11 colors and a wide range of finishes, including satin, matte, metallic and high gloss. RO3003 is available in 7 color options for printable laminates with white on one side. Additionally, this product comes in 6 colors with winter wood finish and three colors with summer wood finish.

Fabrication guidelines

Rogers has laminates available in two finishes: metalized and matte.

a) Metalized finish is essential for metallic colors, satin, and high gloss finishes.

b) Matte finish is necessary for silvery, snowflake, and summerwood finishes.

In addition to the metalized and matte finishes, there are also five laminate colors (none of which contain metal) made from Rogers’ proprietary blend of 40% recycled plastic material (with a minimum of 6% post-consumer content).

Inner Layer Preparation

Rogers’ laminates use top-quality material precisely cut and adhered to a base layer of high-tensile, 1.5-mil polyethylene plastic. The material consists of recycled plastic bottles designed to withstand extreme heat and cold temperatures.

The first step in using your laminates is prepping the inner layer.

Tooling:

Before you use your laminates, you’ll need to set up your machine.

Rogers recommends using a tooling roller. If you’re using a GBC SDS-plus machine or an indigo press, the tooling roller should ideally be 1/16 inch or a sharp utility knife with a less than 24 inches long blade. You must also replace the blade frequently due to the wear and tear on it from the laminate’s material.

Surface Preparation for Photoresist Applications:

This is the only time you need to set up your machine for an adhesive-based lamination application.

To prepare for a photoresist lamination, remove decal/trim from your laminate. Next, put the laminate in your press and activate the heating element until it reaches room temperature.

After removing the laminate from the press, you should now have a rippled effect along its edge. This results from the top layer rolling down over itself during heating.

Photoresist Applications:

After prepping the laminate for lamination, you’re ready to begin applying the photoresist.

The recommended method is with a dropper bottle, typically delivering about 32 drops per bottle. We apply the resist supplied by Rayming PCB & Assembly with a spray gun with a built-in pump system. You should also ensure that you have protective gear on because some resists can be harmful if inhaled or ingested.

DES Processing:

Rogers recommends using a press with a temperature control system on the heat plates and rollers that can reach 150 degrees F or above.

The recommended solvent for desorption is methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) or a MEK-based product. Other options include xylene and toluene.

Your desorption time will depend on the type of resistance. Unlike traditional solvent-based laminates, desorption can take between ten to 20 minutes to complete.

Oxide Treatment:

Rogers recommends using methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) without any additives.

After the MEK process is complete, you can lay your laminate onto your substrate.

Bonding

Rogers recommends heating the adhesive bonder to at least 170 degrees F and applying it between the laminate and substrate.

Rogers laminates use a high-pressure laminate system that allows for a proprietary process known as a high-vacuum state (HV). This allows for a water-based adhesive bond to be applied, eliminating the need for aggressive adhesives.

Rogers also makes a custom-size bonding tool that is available for purchase.

After applying the HV adhesive, you should allow your laminate to cure for 24 hours.

Rogers recommends testing your laminate before using it in your end-use application. This is an essential step to make sure the laminate will withstand a commercial environment’s day-to-day usage and stresses.

Pth And Outer Layer/Double-Sided Circuit Processing

Rogers offers the PTH (press-thru hole) or PTO (press-thru option) and outer layer stencil processes. However, they only offer standard non-printable materials for these processes.

Rogers RO3003 is compatible with inkjet, laser, and digital printing technologies. However, for optimal results when printing on laminate, make sure to follow the guidelines below:

Check that your printer has a “smear guard” installed. With a smear guard, the layer of ink will be printed on the outer surface first and then the laminate layer. If you have not set your printer for a smear guard, adjust your print settings accordingly.

Rogers recommends printing on a flatbed or roll-to-roll system, which can withstand large print runs without stretching or distortion.

If possible, go for the higher humidity version of your printer.

You’ll need to set the print speed for 4 mm/sec for most printers.

Use a white or clear laminate if you aren’t printing directly on top of a color laminate.

If you plan to print images from a design file, download the .84mm version. This will give you a sharp image less affected by how close your laminate is to your substrate surface area.

Pth Plating And Outer Layer Imaging

Rogers uses a proprietary chemical bonding process to bond laminate to steel, aluminum, brass, and other metals. The PTH process requires a special curing system that allows the laminate to adhere just like standard adhesives but withstand standard chemical attacks.

Rogers recommends using their SP5005 optically clear PTH laminate and the outer layer of the SP5002 (silver) or SP5003 (gold).

The RO3003 Laminates use a very thin (0.008″) inner surface layer typically plated with metal within 24 hours of the PTH process.

Rogers’ recommended metal is gold, which you should specify in your quote.

Before lamination, the plating should be done in a Class 100 clean room environment.

Applications

Rogers has a wide range of lamination applications. For example, you can use it to create a variety of packaging, vehicle displays, signage, point-of-purchase display, or as an on-shelf label.

You can also use it for easy-to-remove items such as food containers, musical instrument covers, trophies, and even as a protective layer for products that might be damaged.

Lastly, you can use it to create 2D or 3D inlays, which typically help

Once the laminate is applied to your substrate and cured, you could use Rogers RO3003 as a stand-alone product.

Rogers also offers laminates for lamination, which we can use to extend the life of products in their current form. It has three main lamination processes: HC (hot-crank), cold roll, and thermo roll.

Conclusion

Rogers has been around since 1955, and they are currently one of the leading manufacturers of laminates, lamination materials, and adhesive products.

The RO3003 Laminates offers a wide range of laminate products compatible with the three most popular lamination processes.

Rogers provides an array of high-quality laminates, which we can use for various applications.

The testing process is an essential step to ensure your laminate will withstand the day-to-day usage and stresses of a commercial environment.