How to choose an adhesive for labelling?
Label design is one of the marketing tools to attract buyers’ attention. Companies spend much time and money on the label’s design and color scheme because a product’s appearance defines the brand’s market position, sale volumes, and hence, a company’s profit.
An important factor in a label’s design is the color. Scientific research has confirmed that color affects human subconsciousness and triggers positive or negative emotions. While shopping, the majority of consumers buy on impulse under the influence of mood and external factors, and an attractive package exterior makes them buy certain goods. Label designers need to realize the psychology of color and bear in mind that a properly selected color scheme makes the product attractive for definite categories of people, varying in their temperament, age, education and life style.
For instance, the red color accelerates the heartbeat and causes a surge of energy to attract the attention of self-reliant people with a proactive attitude. The blue color symbolizes calmness and freshness, and green is associated with naturalness. Bright colors are popular among children’s goods, whereas classical ones are used in labels of alcoholic products.
In supermarkets, vibrant colors are used in the design of price stickers. They not only attract the attention of buyers, but also are associated with discounts.
For industrial purposes, labels are chosen depending on the product and the container, onto which they are pasted.
What kinds of labels are available?
- Paper labels – made of quality sorts of cellulose, with the material being subjected to additional printing treatment to acquire durability. Paper labels are an in-demand and an inexpensive option for industry. They are used for goods that are not much exposed to a harsh environmental impact.
- Polypropylene labels – made on special-purpose equipment with subsequent application of product information. They have high durability and moisture resistance. The labels are used on the packaging of different goods: frozen food products, bottles with beverages, pharmaceutical products, and personal hygiene products.
- Pressure-sensitive labels – printed on a flex machine. The labels are delivered to customers in rolls with the adhesive already applied. An acryl or rubber-based adhesive is used for the pressure-sensitive adhesive coating.
- Thermo-shrinkable labels – made as pieces, which are later put onto a container and placed together in a shrink chamber. Under the effect of a high temperature, the label is secured tightly to the container in a short time.
- Domed labels – made of a film material. A polyurethane resin is applied onto the container. After it has hardened, it visually magnifies the image and makes the colors acquire radiance, richness, brilliance and depth.
- Invisible hi-tech labels (No-Label Look) – made of transparent or lackluster materials. When applied onto a package, the label edges merge with the container.
For a label to adhere lastingly to a surface, making it of a quality material is insufficient. To achieve that, a proven adhesive must be chosen.
What kind of adhesive is used for labelling bottles?
Two groups of adhesives are used for labelling: hot melt adhesives and water-based adhesives.
Water-based adhesives – used for labelling glass containers or tin cans, as well as PET bottles. Water-based adhesives are chosen depending on the container and label materials, the task at hand, and the product storage conditions.
Water-based adhesives are classified depending on their composition:
Area of application of adhesives:
- production of alcoholic beverages;
- wine production;
- beer brewing and production of soft drinks;
- chemical and pharmaceutical industry;
- food production.
Hot melt adhesives – used for paper and polypropylene labels on PET, PP, and PVC surfaces, including cold or moist, glass or metal containers. Due to its elasticity and shear resistance, the adhesive is best for labelling bottles with carbonated soft drinks that undergo expansion.
Hot melt adhesives can be used with different types of labelling machines that label up to 70,000 bottles per hour. This makes it possible to use the adhesive in mass production with different packaging materials and usage conditions:
- paper and plastic labels;
- cold moist PET or glass bottles;
- hot glass containers;
- hot and cold tin cans;
- high-density PVC/polyethylene;
- equipment with magazine or roll feed.
One of the kinds of hot melt adhesives for labels is a permanent tackiness pressure-sensitive adhesive. The hot melt adhesive with residual adhesion remains sticky after it has been applied onto paper or film. It is characterized by enhanced resistance to the moisture level and temperature changes. This adhesive is used for making pressure-sensitive labels.
How to choose an adhesive for labelling?
Choosing a quality adhesive for a label or an excise stamp is a challenging task requiring the knowledge of many technological issues. Before choosing an adhesive composition several questions need to be answered:
- What kind of surface is to be labelled? Each material has a different surface tension; hence, the adhesive bonding will occur differently. Note that the rougher a surface is the less are the points of contact with the label. Hence, the adhesive should fill the irregularities and ensure adequate bonding.
- Is the bottle protected with a special coating? A special solution is applied onto a container to protect it from scratches and other mechanical damage. Such a solution can serve as an anti-adhesion coating, making the labelling process more complicated. In this case, the adhesive composition should be chosen carefully for the label to adhere firmly to the bottle.
- What kind of container is used: primary or reusable? If reusable containers are used the adhesive should be able to be washed off easily in a bottle-washing machine.
- Does condensate appear during container usage? An important factor for an adhesive is good adhesion when labelling glass bottles in conditions of low temperatures and high humidity. For instance, alcoholic beverages are often placed in cold water or ice, so the label should withstand well low temperatures.
- Are there dents or irregularities on the container? If the surface is irregular, the adhesive cannot contact well with the container. This results in the loss of bonding of label edges and parts, and to bubbling. In this case, it is necessary to choose the material with account of container features.
- What is the type of the bottling line and the adhesive application station? Different equipment is used to automate the labelling process. The principle of operation of the equipment consists in that the liquid adhesive is pumped out of a tank and a thin layer is applied onto the label backside. To control the adhesive layer thickness and separate the label from the gluing drum surface, attachments of different design are used: doctor blades, stripping drums, and special combs.
Which is the best adhesive for labelling?
The primary quality of adhesives for industrial applications involving machine production is constancy of lot-to-lot characteristics.
This ensures equipment operation without an intermediate readjust. This is what typically defines a trustworthy supplier. On the other hand, the production of industrial adhesives requires, along with process equipment, a high level of laboratory support and many years of experience. Scientific-and-Production Enterprise Lux-X LLC has such a complex in place jointly with a wide range of products.
Lux-X LLC, the major producer of industrial adhesives in Ukraine, offers a wide range of industrial adhesives for labelling and excise stamps. The company’s product mix is represented by water-soluble adhesives of own production under the Lux trademark and hot melt adhesives from BeardowAdams (Adhesives) Ltd (Great Britain) under the ВАМ и ВАМFutura trademarks.