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How do I get labels to stick in hot and humid environments?
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When it comes to labels used in packaging, not all are made the same way. Specific environments, like hot and humid, wet or frozen, will require a compatible label material to stay adhered properly to packaging. It is crucial that labels are readable, scannable, and safe to use and dispose of. To meet compliance, labels must remain adhered for consumer and retail-use despite the environmental factors the labeled package has to endure.

Common Issues with Labels in High Temperature Environments

Something to be aware of when considering using labeling for product identification in a hot or humid environment is that labels are sensitive to temperature, making facility environment temperature a determining factor in choosing what label material to use on a product.  

Some common issues with labels as environmental temperatures rise:

  • Labels not dispensing properly and causing applicator jams
  • Labels adhering to the roll instead of onto the product
  • Label liner peeling or curling
  • Labels falling off

 

As summer kicks in, and temperatures rise, adhesive related problems will affect the quality of a label -- making it difficult to peel from the labeling machine and to stick to the product. Adhesives, the pre-applied glue specially engineered to perform on pressure sensitive applications, get softer and edges get tackier resulting in labels that are difficult to remove off the original roll. Strong adhesive can make release of these labels from the roll a struggle. Dispensing issues caused by adhesive can disrupt product labeling and lead to damaged labels and jammed applicators.

A label liner is likely to expand or curl with high humidity, causing the adhesive to ooze. This curling liner makes label processing challenging in a printer or label applicator. Also, the ooze from the adhesive can cause printer jams and damage to the printheads.

Best Practices for Label Storage in Extreme Temperatures

Even the most pressure-sensitive label adhesives soften as temperatures rise. Hence, storing labels properly can make the difference between a label that survives these changes in weather versus the one that will peel or deteriorate.

Some ideas for storing label rolls properly and protecting them from the heat include:

  • Have label rolls sit upright. Do not lay them flat if possible, to prevent sliding on the liner.
  • Store your label rolls in plastic bags to decrease humidity exposure.
  • Store label rolls lower to the ground to reduce their exposure to top-shelf temperatures that can be 20° to 30° hotter.
  • Fan the label stack helping to improve label processing.
  • Use a utility rack with hanging dowels to store label rolls.
  • Store label rolls by stacking them end-to-end.

 

Understand Labeling from the System to the Consumables

Many environmental factors must be called into question when assessing the labeling process. Temperature is only one of many considerations to determine how to effectively apply labels to product. Our Diagraph specialists are well-versed in providing site evaluations aimed at determining the best fit application for your labeling operation. Whether the survey is conducted on-site or virtually by answering a series of determining questions, we are here to help you understand your labeling solution options and what it looks like in even the most extreme industrial environments. Reach out to us today to start your evaluation. 




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