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Choosing the correct adhesive for your labeling project is critical.

There are many different surfaces a label can be applied to, and there are many different environments and situations these labels will be used. Temperature and humidity can play a big factor in how the label will perform in terms of bond strength.

Please note, the type of facestock you will be using and the ribbon you will be printing with, if required, are also important factors when considering which label type will work best for your application.

There are 4 common types of adhesives used for thermal label applications, and many specialty adhesives.

1) Permanent

Type: General purpose acrylic emulsion adhesive

Uses: General purpose indoor labeling applications under almost any lighting conditions. Packaging Labels, retail applications and high quality barcoding.

Applications: Corrugated cardboard, paper, packaging films, most plastics, stainless steel and glass.

Temp: -65° to 200°F

Take note: If you are labeling recycled or rough corrugated board you will want to consider an aggressive adhesive

 

2) All Temperature

Type: General purpose acrylic emulsion adhesive

Uses: also can be called "Freezer Labels". General purpose labeling applications where a stronger adhesive is required because of cold and or hot conditions. Food packaging, medical uses packaging labels, retail applications and high quality barcoding.

Applications: plastic bags, cold temperature requrements, paper, packaging films, most plastics, stainless steel and glass.

Temp: These labels are able to adhere to objects in a freezer at below 32F. All temp adhesives have a service temperature from – 65 degrees F to + 200 degrees F and can have a wide variety of face stocks with thermal coatings.

Take note: If you are labeling items which will stay in cold storage, or go through different temperature levels, you must consider All Temp. adhesives

 

3) Aggressive

Type: Aggressive general purpose acrylic adhesive

Uses: General purpose for all types labeling applications requiring stronger adhesive bondage because of the temperature, but most commonly the surface the label will be applied to. Excellent for corrugated boxes, Packaging labels, retail applications and high quality barcoding.

Applications: Corrugated cardboard, smooth wood, paper, packaging films, most plastics, stainless steel and glass.

Temp: -65° to 200°F

Take note: If you are labeling recycled or rough corrugated board you will want to consider an aggressive adhesive

 

4) Removable

Type: Removable acrylic emulsion adhesive

Uses: General purpose labeling when the object is a temporary solution

Applications: Asset tracking, inventory control, paper, packaging films, most plastics, stainless steel and glass.

Temp: -65° to 200°F

Take note: The smoother less porous the surface, the more removable. Heat can help make removing labels easier without leaving residue

 


 

Common Terms Used for Adhesives and Labeling

Initial Tack: This is the immediate bonding power of the label adhesive on contact with a specific surface. The lower the initial tack, the easier it is to remove the label. Adhesives with a low initial tack will build up adhesion over time. Adhesives with high initial tack will have a stronger adhesion and bond to the container much more quickly.

Ultimate Adhesion: The maximum holding power the label will achieve as the adhesive fully bonds to the surface. How long it takes for an adhesive to gain ultimate adhesion varies and depends on factors like the adhesive’s stiffness, the roughness of the receiving surface and environmental conditions. Depending on those factors, it can take anywhere from 2 – 24 hours for ultimate adhesion to happen.

Solvent Resistance:The adhesive’s capacity to withstand exposure to solvents like water, alcohol, petrochemical solvents, plasticizers, etc. without losing adhesion. The container contents, along with the environment where the product will be used, should be considered.

Cold Flow: the temperature the label will be applied to is a big factor when considering the type of adhesive you need for your application. Cold flow refers to the adhesive’s ability to bond (or “flow”) to a container at below normal temperatures. “Cold temperature” and “all temperature” adhesives will work best when the label is applied in cold environments.

Minimum Application Temperature:some adhesives are not made to withstand cold temperatures. , it will stiffen and lose its adhesive strength as the temperature decreases. Most adhesives have a minimum application temperature of 40-50 °F before they crystallize and become solid. Cold temperature adhesives can work in temperatures as low as -20 °F.

Service Temperature Range: The temperature range the adhesive can function in after the label has been applied and built up to its ultimate adhesion. Most pressure sensitive adhesives have a range of -65 °F to 200 °F with a paper label stock, or up to 300 °F with a film label stock. Mandrel Hold: This refers to how well a label will hold to a curved item, like tubes. If an adhesive has a good mandrel hold, it will be harder for the label’s edges to lift up, also known as “flagging.”  

When deciding on the type of label you require, consider the adhesive, the facestock and the type of printing ribbon if required. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Requesting samples to test is alway a good thing to start helping you find the right label for your application.

 


 

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