Choosing the Right Label Adhesive -- A Comparison | Diagraph's Bl
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Choosing the Right Label Adhesive -- A Comparison

By Steve Dods, Automated Labeling Products (ALP) and Thermal Transfer Overprinter (TTO) Products Manager


Have you ever purchased an item from the store, and later at home wondered why they used a label that doesn't easily come off of your new item? Have you seen labels that are hardly attached to the side of an item at Home Depot and wonder how many of those labels never even made the trip to the destination store? Well, you are not alone, sadly, and the better question is how much is that adding cost in the supply chain or turning off customers? Now that sticker wisdom can be found in a simple table below:


 Adhesive Type Purpose What to Know Where Used
All-Temp Multi-purpose adhesive

Most common

Good initial tack

Strong long term bond
Best on room temperature products

Not easily removed

Cost effective
Corrugated Cases


Primary product marketing label

Ketchup bottles in a laboratory

Cold-Temp Designed to bond to refrigerated products Label must be room-temp to have activate adhesive - product will be cold

Label will be a heavier weight - may require additional labeler system set up specifics

Label rolls should be stored at room temperature - heating device needed on label roll in point of use area

Refrigerated products, such as ice cream containers, dairy, meat processed cases
Dairy containers on conveyor belt
Wet-Stick Designed with adhesive that compensates for wet surfaces

Air-knives to clear as much water as possible recommended

Full label apply pressure is required to allow the adhesive to operate correctly - direct contact, not blow methods, required here for auto apply

Bottling / Jars

Jars on conveyor belt

Tire Adhesive Surfaces that contain voids, may be dusty, and have curvature

Very heavy adhesive that generally does not do well with paper label substrates

Synthetic label materials generally used
Label on a tire
Removable Can be removed from some surfaces Very important to test target products for initial and long term adhesion Consumer goods
Sales label on microwave oven
Ultra-Removable Can be removed from most surfaces, even after long term bonding Great for label on glass screens, plastics, metals, and other end consumer products where the label is only informational Electronic Products, Medical
Medical labels
Soak and Remove Adhesive is designed for water solubility Used in track and trace applications for reusable totes and containers

Fruit, vegetable, and nut case-level packaging

Product package with label on the bottom

Learn more about automated labeling technology and the benefits of all-electric machines versus pneumatic.

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