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Surface Energy & Adhesives

March 7th, 2012

Surface Energy and Label Adhesive:

Many may not realize that the surface energy of the object you are applying a label to, has a significant factor on what adhesive your label supplier uses. We often receive phone calls or emails from clients in a panic that their labels are no longer sticking to their products. In some cases we have discovered that their marketing department changed an element to make the product look more appealing to consumers when it sits on the shelf in stores. Or the project manager purchases components of the part made with new materials such as TPO, polycarbonate, or polyolefin in efforts to save money.

It initially seems like a perfect idea. The marketing team gets their high end, flashy product on the shelf, and project managers get lower prices on raw materials. Seems like a win/win situation. However in hind sight, once their product gets into production with the new materials, things can get chaotic if not planned properly. When you are thinking about making changes to the materials used within the production of your product, you should always send samples of the new part to your label supplier (MR Label Co.)

 MR Label Co., has found that many of its customers are producing products with textured surfaces or low surface energy materials such as Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO). Sometimes these textured or low surface energy materials require a primer or “wet-out” process prior to label application. This in return can add unforeseen costs in production.

A product’s surface energy is measured by dynes per centimeter.  A high surface energy (HSE) is typically 37+ dynes/cm and are usually metals. Low surface energy (LSE) products are usually less than 37 dynes/cm and include: EVA, PTO, polyethylene, and polypropylene. MR Label Co., works closely with its material suppliers in order to find the correct face stock with appropriate adhesive for your specific application.

When you are considering switching materials, make sure you give your sales rep or one of our estimators a call to discuss potential complications with your current label construction. Even though you might be switching to a LSE material, more adhesive might not be the right answer. Depending on the exact material you pick and its texture, MR Label Co. might recommend an adhesive that is designed to “flow out” on the LSE material to create that high bond. Whereas, on a HSE material we may recommend a harder adhesive that is designed for this application.

We are the trusted experts in the custom label business. So let us deal with researching and recommending the correct materials so you can focus on your core business plans.