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Initial Adhesion vs. Ultimate Adhesion

One of the reasons we offer our customers samples of the material is so they can test the adhesion on their specific surface. When doing this, it is important to understand the different levels of adhesion and what is best for your application requirements.

Here’s the difference:

Initial Adhesion:

  • Initial Adhesion refers to how the label adheres upon initial contact, so if a label is not intended to be moved or adjusted, then it will likely have a very high initial adhesion (sometime called initial tack).
  • The benefit of high initial adhesion is that the labels grab hold quicker. This is important when the labels are need to immediately perform–such as on a fast-moving bottling line.

Ultimate Adhesion:

  • Ultimate Adhesion is the final strength of the adhesive, and labels do not achieve this until about 72 hours after they are applied.
  • Some adhesives feel as if they will easily fall off; however, these tend to have the highest ultimate adhesion. This allows for the label to be adjusted during application.
  • For example, some of the 3M™ tapes we offer have a low initial tack, but they end up being the most durable and long-lasting solutions we manufacture.
  • Labels with a high ultimate adhesion are often used as security and industrial grade labels