Questions & Answers
- Is doublebinding as strong as PUR binding?
Doublebinding is as strong and stronger as the strongest perfect binding (EVA) standard requires. It is also strong enough to fall well within generally-accepted PUR binding specifications. This is why doublebinding is on par with the binding strength of PUR.
However, it will not bind as effectively to very high gloss paper (paper with a high clay content), or to pages with a high ink saturation or which have been UV coated or laminated.
- What are the limitations of doublebinding?
The only significant limitations that doublebinding lies in the characteristics of EVA glue. EVA glue is not flexible enough in sub-zero temperatures or at extremely high temperatures. For this reason doublebinding is not recommended for books that will be used in arctic conditions or in desert environments. Since by far the most books are not used in such conditions, however, doublebinding remains the better choice for any application where perfect binding would have been appropriate. The same caution should be used when using doublebinding on heavily coated paper or paper with a very solid ink coverage. It should be noted that even so, doublebinding produces a far superior bind even on such papers than perfect binding does. If books will be subjected to extreme temperatures (such as map books that might be left in the sun in automobiles, or technical manuals on arctic oil rigs), PUR binding may be the more suitable choice. If in doubt, always bind a sample copy first.
- Is doublebinding successful on coated papers and ink-coated paper?
Since doublebinding uses a variant of EVA glue, which is well known in the perfect binding industry, the limitations are similar. As a general rule, doublebinding should not be used on heavily coated paper stock, UV coated paper, or paper with solid ink coating. In practice it has been found, however, that within due reason, quite a large variety of popular lightly coated papers and even some heavily coated stock, have performed with exceedingly satisfactory results in doublebinding. If in doubt, always run a test first.
- Is the vorTEX/////doublebinder PUR adaptable?
Yes. The vorTEX/////doublebinder has been designed so that PUR units can be mounted with relative ease. This is because we recognize that on certain problematic stock, notably heavily coated stock and UV coated stock, PUR yields a more secure bind.
- Is doublebinding competition for PUR binding?
No. Doublebinding is a far more affordable and far easier binding method than PUR binding. Yet, it offers the most important of PUR's binding benefits. Doublebinding provides for the first time, an opportunity for many finishers of all sizes, the ability to provide products that are on par with PUR. However, PUR will always have its place owing to its ability to accommodate heavily coated paper stock and pages with solid ink coverages. Doublebinding isn't against PUR. Doublebinding works with PUR.
- Is doublebinding suitable for small or big finishers?
The vorTEX/////doublebinder is currently available in a single clamp model with in-line cover insertion. The production capacity is 200 books per hour, which places it squarely in the realm of small- to medium volume producers. This, in effect, means that the vorTEX/////doublebind is made for the print on demand (POD) and digital printing industry which typically requires the handling of such volumes. However, a growing number of very big industrial printers have invested in vorTEX/////doublebinders for the following reasons: Owing to the low cost of the vorTEX, they are able to buy several machines, and still have a lot of change left over, compared to the price of big industrial machines. The price ratio can easily be eight to ten vorTEX machines for the price of one PUR machine. The vorTEX is perfect for general jobbing, producing smaller production runs, or finishing interrupted production runs, or even reworking some batches. The vorTEX is also ideally suited for creating sample books, low volume limited edition books and editor's copies.
- What can the vorTEX do for invoice books (self-carbonizing books)?
The vorTEX///doublebinder is unusually good at binding NCR paper - far superior to any perfect binding option. There, is however, an added advantage which is very important. The vorTEX is the only machine that is capable of fixing binding cloth onto an invoice book INLINE! This saves time and money and produces a book of superior finish.
- How was the doublebinding concept conceived of?
Doublebinding was developed as a result of sheer frustration. The first concept was born years ago as many inventions have, in the hands of a team of passionate inventors in a suburban garage. The creators of doublebinding felt the need to come up with a binding technology which could combine the low cost and ease of operation of perfect binding, with the strength and layflat qualities of PUR binding. First, extensive experimentation was embarked upon to come up with a machine that could coat pages with water based glue in the age-old fashion of clamping pages at an angle, applying the glue, and then clamping the pages in relaxed state together until dry. This resulted in a superior bind with excellent layflat qualities but the apparatuses were far too slow. After extensive further development, a method was developed of applying glue by an advanced means of blowing pages apart and using EVA glue in stead. The result was a brand new technology which had never existed before: doublebinding.
- How flat is layflat?
Layflat means that a book should lie reasonably flat upon a table when folded open in half, and after the middle section has been firmly smoothed down by hand just once. Different types of paper will have different degrees of layflat, which is normal. Generally the cheaper, and hence more porous, papers will yield better layflat results than expensive, heavily coated papers. Furthermore, the thickness of book covers have a fundamental influence on layflat qualities of a book. Thick, heavy covers will simply resist folding open totally flat. Therefore, even though the content pages may have great layflat qualities, the effect can be lessened if the cover is not selected to match. Experience will guide the user into matching the right cover to the right job. Also, reason dictates that very thin books don't have layflat qualities - period. Doublebinding yields thin booklets of superior strength, they may not necessarily have a particularly superior layflat quality.
- Why do some books lie open more flat than others?
The layflat qualities of a doublebound book are determined mainly by two factors: The type of paper used and the rigidity and thickness of the cover. Generally, the cheaper and hence more porous the book, the flatter it will lie. This is why certain perfect bound books, such as telephone directories, lie open very flat indeed. Since the glue is able to penetrate porous paper better, the spin glue thickness is thinner and the books open more flat. Generally-speaking, coated paper tends to be more expensive paper. By their very nature, coated papers do not lie as flat as non-coated papers. High gloss paper has the least lay-flat quality. Nevertheless, after a firm smooth down along the middle of the book, even gloss paper stock should lie reasonably flat. The thickness and rigidity of covers has a similar effect. This means that even whilst the content pages may be layflat, the cover can sometimes resist flat opening to some degree. Another factor that affects layflat quality is the thickness of the book. It is self-evident that very thin books do not have good layflat quality, compared to thicker books. There is too little weight to help the pages lie flat. All books benefit from layflat binding technologies such as doublebinding and PUR binding, however. Whatever resistance certain books might have to layflat qualities, perfect binding would yield far worse results. Generally, however, it is rare for books to exhibit significant resistance to layflat qualities when they have been doublebound.
- How does NCR paper respond to doublebinding?
NCR paper is infamous for its bad binding quality with perfect binding technology. Doublebinding, on the other hand, yields absolutely superior results in every way. It is very important for self-carbonized paper books to lie open flat, since it is normally necessary to write fairly close to the actual binding. Left-handed persons usually have the hardest time writing in NCR books because the books don't open as flat as they should. Doublebinding dispenses with this problem. Considering the low cost and superior finishing, this is without a doubt the best binding technology in the world for NCR paper books.
- How does wrong grain binding affect doublebinding?
The fibres that make up paper are always aligned either along the length of the page, or along the width of the page. Binders normally take great care to ensure that the paper grain matches the binding of the book, otherwise the layflat quality and binding strength of the book may be severely compromised. Perfect binding can simply not bind wrong grained paper strongly. On the other hand, doublebinding is extremely forgiving regarding wrong grain binding. So far, tests have found that it doesn't really matter if paper is bound against the grain using doublebinding. The results are almost the same, and sometimes even superior. As a general rule, wrong grain binding yields a book that is still much stronger than perfect binding, and only slightly less layflat than a book that has been bound with correct grain. This is of great importance to digital publishers who print on full sheets of landscape bond paper, which are cut in half into an A5-sized book of portrait orientation. Doublebinding is the perfect solution for binding wrong grain bond paper. This makes it an invaluable tool to the print on demand industry. It also makes doublebinding a very bold tool in the hands of digital printers.
- Does doublebinding pose a threat to perfect binding?
Doublebinding offers all the advantages of perfect binding, but with virtually none of the disadvantages. Perfect binding used to be a swear word in the past. Compared to doublebinding, we believe it will become so again. Perfect binding will probably be around for half a generation, but it will never live up to doublebinding. It is expected that perfect binding will gradually be phased out as the demand for doublebinding increases.
- Is doublebinding really the future of book binding?
The book binding market is dominated by perfect binding. This is a technology that is riddled with problems, but on account of its low cost and ease of operation it remains by far the most popular binding method. With doublebinding, all the benefits of perfect binding are retained, but the two most significant drawbacks are eliminated entirely: bad layflat quality and low pull-strength. Since doublebinding machines cost as much or less as medium-price perfect binding machines would cost, why would the sophisticated buyer ever want to consider perfect binding again? The most important answer, of course, is what the market wants. The market wants layflat books. The market wants strong, reliable books, and the market wants affordable books. The market always gets what the market wants. The only full answer to what the market wants right now is doublebinding. Hence, doublebinding truly is the binding technology of the future.
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