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Demystifying Decorative Foil Finishes

The term is foil. It is made out of a specific paper, not metal leaf, not thin plastic. And though it is often called by many different names/general descriptors (laminate, paper laminate, laminated paper, paper surface) the correct terminology is foil. One thing that defines a foil is the specific paper used in making the product. That paper undergoes a resin impregnation process that makes it a very good surface for machining. Foils typically receive a topcoat that can enhance durability and in some cases modify the color of the foil. And the material may be specified with or without pre-applied hot-melt adhesive, depending on the needs and capabilities of the user. In an effort to clearly define what a foil is this piece will provide a brief history of the material, then look at the paper technology, impregnation options, top-coating and adhesive possibilities...

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