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What is the Best Material for Asset Labels?

Asset labels—sometimes referred to as asset tags—are often essential for properly tracking and maintaining valuable property. Materials are key—if an asset label fails or falls off, the cost of lost information and relabeling can be high.

But what is the best material for asset labels? The real answer to that questions is: it depends. A bit of cheat, sure, but it really does all comes down to the specific use case. What exactly are you looking for the label to handle? Is it going on a flat surface indoors? Will it be on a curved, rough surface? Does it need security features? Will it be in a high abrasion location? These are all important performance questions to ask yourself, as each material has both pros and cons.

Here is a quick breakdown of some of the best asset label materials below, to help you to evaluate performance criteria such as durability, cost, and the ability to conform to various shapes.

Asset LabelPolyester has excellent tear strength, heat resistance, opacity, and chemical resistance. The most rigid of the materials, it works best on flat or near-flat surfaces. It is the best mix of durability and cost.

Bi-axially oriented polypropylene or BOPP is a lower cost alternative. It has moderate durability, with good conformability on curved shapes.

Vinyl has good tear strength and weather resistance, but relatively low heat resistance. More expensive than Polyester or BOPP, but also the most durable and conformable.

Void Polyester is specially designed to indicate tampering with the label. An expensive material, it has the same durability properties as normal polyester, with the added feature of leaving behind a VOID mark when removed.

Lamination adds a clear protective layer of material over the main inks to prevent scratching or marring. Variable information is usually printed on top of the lamination given the durability of that particular printing process. The only downside is that a second layer of material reduces conformability, important to consider when adding to materials like vinyl.

For samples of any of these materials, please reach out to us either using the form on the right or the information on our contact page. For more images and information on asset labels, visit our products page.