No one wants barcode labels to fall off or start peeling away. When this happens, you can end up wasting time and money reprinting labels or tracking down missing products, shipments, or equipment. Adhesives failure is usually caused by using the wrong adhesive for the shape and type of surface you’re labeling, or by conditions such as outdoor exposure, temperature, moisture, and chemicals.
Fortunately, you can make sure your labels stick by using specialized label adhesives designed to handle these and other challenges.
To get the best results, we recommend products and labels from Zebra Technologies, which pre-tests all of its supplies against rigorous quality and durability standards.
To find the right adhesive, you can consult Zebra’s Supplies Selector Guide, which includes specs and application details for over 1,000 labels, adhesives, ribbons, and other printing supplies. But, in this article, we provide a quick guide to Zebra’s adhesives and how they work with your application.
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Zebra Label Adhesives and Where to Use Them
Acrylic adhesives are a general-purpose solution for most standard labeling applications. They provide long-term adhesion and durability, work across a wide temperature range, and offer moderate resistance to chemicals and UV exposure.
Rubber adhesive provides good initial tack for general-purpose labeling. It adheres to rough surfaces, but it’s not recommended where you need to automatically apply your labels.
High-performance adhesives offer higher resistance to chemicals and UV exposure. They’re often approved for regulated applications such as indirect food contact (FDA 175.105) and UL/cUL or CSA.
- High-temp adhesives withstand temperatures over 300°F or 149°C.
- Cold-temp adhesives withstand low temperatures down to -112°F or -80°C.
All-temp adhesives are designed for applications that require temperature resistance, but not to the extremes that required high-temp or cold-temp adhesives. All-temp adhesives can usually be applied for use in temperatures below freezing (32°F or 0°C) and often to adhere to surfaces as cold as -20°F or -29°C.
Removable adhesives can be removed cleanly from most surfaces without damaging the label or surface. One example is Zebra’s 400T all-temp label, which features a removable acrylic adhesive.
Ultra-removable adhesives support removal from the most difficult surface types, such as metal and glass, without damaging the label or the surface. These qualities make an ultra-removable adhesive ideal for labeling shelves, pallets, and even paper documents.
Multi-removable and ultra-removable adhesives offer dual functionality. They provide permanent long-term adhesion but also allow clean removal. With this adhesive, you can even remove a label, adjust its position, and reapply it. These adhesives are a good option for labeling and re-labeling cartons, totes, bins, and shelves.
High-tack acrylic adhesives are for specialized applications where labeling is often difficult and also requires resistance to chemicals and UV exposure. They’re commonly used in UL/cUL and CSA-compliant product labeling, automotive labeling, and other applications with hard-to-label surfaces.
High-tack and super-tack rubber adhesives are for hard-to-label surfaces that require high-tack adhesion combined with a rubber adhesive for rough surfaces. These adhesives are often used for shipping labels and for labeling corrugate or recycled corrugate, wood, or textured substrates.
Choosing the Right Adhesives & Labels for Your Application
To get the best labeling results, you need to match the right adhesive with the right label (paper vs. synthetic) and the right printing method (direct thermal vs. thermal transfer).
At DecisionPoint, we can help you make the right choices by expertly matching your needs with over 1,000 possible combinations of Zebra labels and printing supplies.
Contact us now to get a free consultation and personalized recommendation. Call us at 949-465-0065or email us for a free consultation and recommendation.
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