How to Choose a Commercial Labeling Adhesive

How to Choose a Commercial Labeling Adhesive

When it comes to product labeling, the flexibility offered by pressure-sensitive label applications stands out—especially when you’re choosing labels with different materials for varied layers. This allows for custom solutions tailored to a product’s lifecycle, from application to recycling. When selecting the right label adhesive, you’ll need to consider container shapes and environmental conditions, like temperature and exposure to light.

What is pressure-sensitive adhesive?

Pressure-sensitive adhesives used in labels are a blend between liquid and solid states. When applied to a container, the adhesive flows onto the surface, and once in place, it hardens. Unlike structural adhesives, which require chemical changes to bond, pressure-sensitive label adhesives reach near-maximum strength immediately after application.

Understanding label types and adhesives

Label adhesives come in various types, each serving specific purposes. They can be permanent, repositionable or removable. Permanent adhesives cure quickly, ensuring a strong bond. Repositionable labels have a longer cure time, allowing for peeling and reapplication shortly after placement. Removable labels peel off easily, while re-closable adhesives maintain their ability to wet out even after repeated applications.

What affects label attachment?

The effectiveness of label attachment is influenced by four main factors. First, initial tack refers to the adhesive’s initial “attraction” to the application surface. High initial tack requires less pressure for the adhesive to bond to the container.

Next, wetting is the adhesive’s ability to spread out across the surface, creating a strong bond. If your adhesive has good wetting properties, it will fill in surface imperfections to adhere strongly.

Third, there’s the actual adhesion. Adhesion is the strength of the bond between the adhesive and the application surface. Whether you choose high or low-adhesive materials, it’s important to balance the end user’s needs along with desired durability.

Finally, application temperature can affect attachment. Adhesives used outside their temperature range may not form a strong bond. High temperatures increase flow, while cold temperatures make the adhesive hard and brittle.

What affects the label life cycle?

Label materials must withstand the entire product life cycle, from shipping to long-term use. Here’s what influences label adhesive performance:

  • Ultimate adhesion: This is the strength of the bond after the adhesive is fully cured.
  • Shear: Shear measures the force required to move the label parallel to its surface, which is crucial for labels in contact with other objects.
  • Mandrel hold: Mandrel hold assesses the adhesive’s flexibility, which is especially important for labels on uneven or round surfaces.
  • Service temperature: This is the temperature range the adhesive can handle while still maintaining its bond.
  • UV resistance: UV-resistant adhesives are important for products exposed to sunlight, which prevents degradation due to ultraviolet light.

Find the right labeling system with Quadrel

Choosing the perfect commercial labeling adhesive involves thoughtful consideration of the factors above to ensure labels not only adhere effectively, but can also withstand the product’s lifecycle. By understanding label adhesives, manufacturers can find the right versions for their product lines.

Easy, fast labeling starts with high-quality labeling machines. Browse Quadrel’s selection of pressure-sensitive labeling systems, or reach out to our team to learn more about custom options.