OVERVIEW: Thermal Binding is a method for binding that uses heat and adhesive to bind documents. Among the benefits of thermal binding is the elimination of the punching step associated with punch and bind solutions. Depending on the system, thermal binding technology can reduce production and assembly time. Higher end thermal binding also delivers a professional look for books and more permanent documents.
Types of Thermal Binding: Basically there are two types of thermal binding. One method uses tape with an heat-activated adhesive on one side. This tape binds both covers and sheets together at the spine. The other method employs a wraparound cover with an adhesive channel laid into the spine. When heated, the adhesive binds the cut sheets into the wraparound cover.
THERMAL TAPE BINDING: Tape binding uses various size tape strips to bind printed pages and covers together. In a typical system, the binding strip or tape is applied to the document while being heated, leaving the users’ hands-free to prepare for the next document. For this type of system, it is reasonable to expect a production rate of two to four documents a minute. Thermal binding tape elements come in a variety of thicknesses, colors, and materials and can bind from 3 sheets up to 350 sheets of 20 lb. paper. Special print technologies allow a user to title a spine with a foil imprint.
Cost: Thermal binding tape elements are priced slightly higher than punch and bind elements such as plastic comb, plastic coil, and twin loop wire but have a lower overall “real” cost due to reduced production time and labor.
THERMAL WRAPAROUND COVERS: This solution similar to thermal tape. Heat is applied to the adhesive-coated spine of a cover, activating the adhesive and allowing the pages to be bound within the wraparound cover. These systems have openings up to two inches, and can bind more than one document at a time depending on the thickness. Binding time is approximately 30 seconds.
Perfect Binding Strips: bind documents or book blocks without covers, then marry the block to a wraparound cover – producing a professionally bound book using the desktop equipment.
Hardcover Strips: enable a user to bind a book block, then marry it to a hard case. This produces an end product that is equal to commercially bound books.