When deciding upon your desired labels it’s important to consider the type of environment in which your label shall be used within. This will ensure that you’ll receive the correct label material and adhesive for the intended job.
There are a few things you might want to consider before making your decision, with the most important factors being whether the label is needed for either indoor or outdoor use, high or low temperatures or a more harsh environment.
Even if your label is intended for indoor use it may still experience a harsh cold condition such as a freezer so it will still need to be able to withstand this environment. Likewise if the temperature within a warehouse was to soar throughout the summer months then this too needs to be a consideration.
A harsh environment is classed as any extreme whether that could affect the labels condition. For example, the rain, wind or snow could be potentially damaging. Under these circumstances a label will be made out of either polypropylene or polyester for extra durability as they are able to withstand moisture, a range of temperatures, chemical, oils and more.
Exposure to high temperatures will require special materials and adhesives. This will allow the label to withstand up to 1000 degree heat. There are 4 types of applications available for this: Autoclave labels (temperatures up to 132 degrees), PCB labels (short bursts of heat up to 280 degrees), Steel (for wires, slabs etc) and Aluminium labelling (hot and cold coils, ingots etc).
At low temperatures labels will require a special freezer adhesive. This will allow them to withstand freezing temperatures as low as -196 degrees. The labels for this environment will be produced on either paper or synthetic materials, with the use of cryogenic labelling commonly used within clinical laboratories as it’s crucial that the labels can withstand the extreme low temperatures.
For use within a Cleanroom environment, there is an option of 3 different types of adhesives: permanent, removable or ultra removable depending upon the requirement. They are able to withstand extreme temperatures, both hot and cold and are designed for use within sterile environments. They meet rigorous requirements due to their designated environment.
A chemical environment means that labels need to withstand any physical contact within their environment. They are usually produced using polypropylene as the material is chemical resistant. Produced either with permanent or removable adhesives it’s crucial that the print remains in tact. These labels are commonly found on chemical drums.
A label used in an outdoor environment must be produced to ensure it withstands the summer and winter months. It will need to more durable and so will be produced using either polypropylene or polyester depending on the desired surface to be adhered to. Outdoor labels must be UV resistant otherwise the inks may fade. Throughout the use of thermal transfer printing the ink can also be made water resistant also.