You can select the best material, and have the greatest looking art, but if the labels fail to stick, you have a problem. Every adhesive is different, so here are some quick things to review when sorting them out.
- Consider whether you need the labels grab hold quickly or have some reposition-ability at first. This is called initial tack. High initial tack means the label grabs and won’t let go. Low initial tack takes longer for the adhesive to migrate. The correct choice can mean quicker application time.
- What is the service range of the labels? By that, we mean to what are the temperatures that the labels are going to be exposed. Will they be sitting on a heat source and need to survive 300 degrees F? Or are they going into a large freezer at the local bulk club store? Different adhesive have formulations to work across the intended range.
- As long as we are on the topic of temperature, what is the application temperature? Labels typically have a much narrower temperature band at the point of application to the product than for their overall service temperature. For example, if you are attaching labels to already frozen TV dinners, you’ll probably need a specific cold temperature application adhesive.
- Surfaces to which the labels are applied matter…a lot. Plastic have different adhesion qualities than metal surfaces. Want to learn more…check out this post about Understanding Surface Energy.
- Do you have security requirements? Adhesives can be formulated to indicate tampering. Checkered patterns, VOID marks, and even custom logos can be inserted into the adhesive, and will reveal upon removal.
At the end of the day, adhesive matters. Keep these things in mind, and you will be on track for better performing labels.