Labels are a vital part of every product. It is the first thing your customer notices about your product; thus, it should represent your brand effectively.
For good labelling, along with the material that goes on the surface of your product, it is also essential to choose an appropriate adhesive. If the adhesive is not right, your label can never be right!
Therefore, It is essential for businesses to understand the various types of adhesives available to choose from. This guide talks about everything you need to know about label adhesives, from the types and adhesive properties to how they work.
Properties of Adhesives
Understanding the adhesive properties is how you can tell what type of adhesive is suitable for your product. So let’s discuss some important ones.
- Initial Tack – It is the label adhesive’s initial ability to adhere to a given surface. When the initial tack is low, the adhesion is low, which allows the label to be lifted neatly. On the other hand, adhesives with a high initial tack will adhere to the container considerably faster and have a stronger adhesion.
- Ultimate Adhesion – It is the label’s maximal holding strength as the adhesive fully adheres to the surface. A variety of variables, including the glue’s stiffness, the surface’s roughness, and ambient conditions, influence how long it takes for an adhesive to achieve maximum adherence.
- Shear Resistance – Low shear label adhesives are soft and flow into the surface on which they are applied. They can split apart under pressure but also have a greater starting tack.
- UV Resistance – UV-resistant adhesive reduces the impact of UV exposure on the labels. Otherwise, the colour or stickiness of your labels may change if they are exposed to ultraviolet light for a lengthy period of time.
- Solvent Resistance – It is the adhesive’s ability to remain intact when exposed to solvents like alcohol, water, petrochemical solvents, plasticisers, etc.
- Mandrel Hold – The label adhesive’s resistance to a curved or tight radius surface. Having an adhesive with a good mandrel hold means it will be more difficult for the label’s edges to rise (often known as “flagging”).
- Cold Flow – The term “cold flow” describes an adhesive’s capacity to adhere to a container when temperatures are below average.
Types of Adhesives
The type of label adhesive varies based on different factors—surface type, temperature, etc. Depending on your preferences in such factors, you can pick any one from the following five adhesives.
1. Acrylic Adhesive
The most common type of adhesive used on labels is acrylic-based adhesive. These adhesives are versatile, offering both high-tack and permanent solutions. They also offer good resistance to heat, cold, and UV light, making them suitable for a wide range of applications.
This adhesive is usually applied with water-based systems but can be applied with an airless system if necessary.
2. Hot Melt Adhesive
Hot melt adhesives are designed to bond quickly upon contact with a surface. This type of adhesive is considered ideal for applications that require speed and efficiency, such as labelling machines in food production lines or other rapidly moving conveyors.
These adhesives are also highly resistant to moisture, which makes them well-suited for outdoor use in wet environments.
3. Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA)
Pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSA) have been around since the 1950s and are still widely used today.
This type of adhesive works by bonding when pressure is applied after it has been placed on a surface. PSA labels are great for applications where you need a strong bond but don’t want to rely on heat or other forms of energy for activation. Some examples can be retail labelling or barcode labels on product boxes.
4. Removable Adhesives
The next type of adhesive is removable adhesive. When applied, removable adhesives contain just enough tack to grasp the surface, but they remain in a condition that inhibits them from achieving a higher level of adherence. As a result, the label can be moved about or removed to some extent.
The surface that the label is being affixed to and the temperature range it is exposed can significantly impact the effectiveness of removable adhesives. Due to these various conditions, it is always advised to test removable adhesives for appropriateness.
5. Repositionable Adhesives
The last kind on our list is the repositionable adhesives. They are made to temporarily lift and reposition if needed.
When labels need to be removed for repositioning and reapplied to another surface without losing much stickiness, this adhesive can help you save time and money in the long run. It could ultimately turn into permanent, depending on the kind of repositionable adhesive used. But depending on the formulation, there might be a delay between the initial application and permanent bonding.
With so many different label adhesives available, it can be difficult to know which one is right for your application. By understanding how each type works and its individual benefits, you can make an informed decision when selecting an adhesive solution for your business needs.
The key takeaway here is that no matter which type you choose, quality should always be your top priority—the better your adhesive is, the longer your labels will last!
Finally, you can discuss how to print bottle labels, what adhesive to pick or any other concerns about your label with a reliable service provider. Reach out to DAL for the best food label printer solutions.