What is Encapsulation? Well if you’re a computer programmer its an entirely different answer, but for our purposes we are concentrating on the encapsulation of documents and similar items.
Encapsulation is the process of sealing a document within a tough plastic film, on both sides, and sealed at the edges. You would normally see some kind of lip around the document or item. This makes the document very tough, sturdy, and water resistant, as the inner media is completely sealed in plastic. It differs from Lamination which is generally a thin coating of film on one side only, mainly to improve aesthetic appearance or give a wipe clean finish.
In general, encapsulation is used for different media and different purposes than lamination would be. For example, identity cards may well be encapsulated rather than laminated, as they would be subjected to more rough handling or perhaps outside use. Different thicknesses of film are available, ranging from 35 micron to 250 micron, depending on requirements. The film resin adheres to the substrate to completely seal the document within.
If you wish the item or document to have a longer life, be water resistant, or be subjected to rougher handling, then encapsulation would be preferable over lamination.