What You Need to Know About Pressure-Sensitive Adhesives

In the January 2011 edition of “Labels and Labeling,” MACtac Specialty Products Technical Quality Assurance Manager David Ohnmeiss penned an article about some of the most commonly asked questions from clients. The article, “The Top 10,” discusses many of the same questions our clients ask us at Whitlam Group.

The article focuses on pressure-sensitive adhesives, one of the commonly-used techniques used for applying labels to a variety of surfaces, or substrates. Pressure-Sensitive Adhesives (PSA) work by forming a bond between the label and the applied surface when pressure is applied. There is no need for solvents or water to be used for this type of label application. It’s important that the surface of the substrate be taken into account when applying labels, and that is the topic of several of the questions Ohnmeiss answers in his article.

Sticky Notes are an Example of Pressure-Sensitive Adhesives

One of the more basic questions Ohnmeiss answers is “What general advice can you offer someone selecting a pressure-sensitive laminate?” He says one of the most important things is to test the products sufficiently for any application. “The more¬†circumstances¬†and conditions you account for in testing, the more likely you are to select the correct pressure sensitive laminate.”

Ohnmeiss also stresses that if you, as a client, have any questions about what adhesives to use for a certain product to ask your label provider. The Whitlam Group team is extremely knowledgeable about this and can help you along the way. He also discussed the importance of following any regulatory requirements that may be in place regarding a specific product. It not only makes our lives as label applicators easier, but yours as well. If we know what the regulations are before we apply your labels, we will make sure we follow them to a T.

Another question our clients often ask us that Ohnmeiss addresses is how long a label we apply for them will last. This depends on several factors. The first is the shelf life of the label. This refers to how long the label can last in its pre-applied state. To maximize the shelf life of a label, Ohnmeiss suggests that all labels “be stored in conditions as close to 72 F and 50 percent RH as possible.” The second factor is the durability of the label. Label durability is how long the label can perform once applied to a substrate. This depends on environmental conditions, printing technology, label construction and other factors. He writes, “Understanding the durability needs for an application is key to designing a cost-effective and successful label solution.”

Do you have more questions regarding what kind of pressure-sensitive adhesive is best for your product? Contact us! We’d love to discuss how we can create the best label application for you and your product.

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