Choosing Label Materials Part II
Material selection is crucial to manufacturing and pricing a label. If you need a label to last in a harsh environment or a label to last for a long time you’ll need durable material.
Determining the material to use for a durable label can be confusing. Some of the information you’ll need to know is:
How long the labels need to last (Life), and
What the labels will adhere to (Surface).
LIFE What is the lifespan of the product that the label will be adhered to? A photovoltaic panel with an aluminum frame can last longer than 50 years. A gas pump may last 100 years but will the information on the label still be relevant in 100 years? Match the lifespan of the label to the lifespan (and use) of the product the label will adhere to.
In the case of the solar panel, the information on the label (manufacturer, volts) won’t change. And the solar panel is likely to be in use for as long as it produces current. This label needs to be readable, it needs to stay put, and the material it is made of needs to be tough. Aluminum is the best choice for this label but to due cost concerns, many manufacturers will opt for polyester.
SURFACE A label that will be used on powder coated metal requires different adhesive than a label placed on a plastic surface. One surface is high energy and one surface is low energy. Everything about a label may be perfect (size, logo, content) but if the wrong adhesive is used the label is worthless.
A low surface energy adhesive will not adhere to a high energy surface. Sometimes a high energy adhesive will need 24 hrs to “cure” after the label is put in place. Labels with high energy adhesive should be left in place for 24hrs before the item is packed, shipped or otherwise moved.
Drake Labels can help answer difficult questions about materials and adhesives.
Criteria that will be covered in other posts are: