When you’re looking for a product label, there’s a strong chance you’ll want what’s called a pressure-sensitive label (PSL). This highly versatile label solution can be seen on nearly any type of product. In fact, PSLs constitute more than 80 percent of all labels in the market today.
What are pressure-sensitive labels?
Pressure-sensitive labels are analogous to a high-tech sticker. They can use paper, film and foil as their primary label materials and can be used with a wide range of inks. Since they don’t require any heat, solvent or water to activate, it only takes light or moderate pressure to apply (or stick) them to a product surface. They come on rolls to be peeled off and pressed onto a product using a hand or machine-applied technique.
Pressure-sensitive labels applications
Pressure-sensitive labels are used for everything from automotive products, chemical pails and household goods to food and beverage containers, wine and spirits bottles and nearly everything in between. You’ll find them on a broad range of products.
Advantages of pressure-sensitive labels
Pressure-sensitive labels are analogous to a high-tech sticker. They can use paper, film and foil as their primary label materials and can be used with a wide range of inks. Since they don’t require any heat, solvent or water to activate, it only takes light or moderate pressure. Fasson® Global MDO/S7000/PET23 label.averydennison.com Fasson® Global MDO/S7000/PET23 Machine direction oriented (MDO) technology can deliver high quality printing, high speed dispensing and superb on-container appearance needed for semi-squeeze applications. Global MDO is the perfect label material as it balances the rigidity required. Crack 'n Peel Product Code: 313 60# Satin Litho, 17' x 22' Replacement Product Code: SC-09769 Ultra Matte Litho 60# Adhesive Paper, Permanent, Scored, 17-1/4' x 22-1/4', 500 Sheets. .It is essential, as with all pressure-sensitive tapes, that the surface to which the tape is applied be clean, dry, and free of grease or oil.Bond strength is dependent upon the amount of adhesive-to-surface contact developed.Note that different pressure, time and temperature on different (film /.
Because they don’t require heat, solvent or water to adhere to packages, pressure-sensitive labels are an easy and straightforward label solution. They’re easily applied to containers, bottles and packaging, highly versatile and can work with many types of products and finishes. Different adhesives can make pressure-sensitive labels removable or permanent, depending on your use. Some high-performance, pressure-sensitive adhesives can last through extremely hot and cold temperatures. And heavy-duty options can support the weights of bulky labels, such as extended content labels.
Purchasing pressure-sensitive labels
The purchase of a unique, eye-catching label is an investment in your product. Labels are made to drive sales and connect with your customer. The right label should deliver a tangible return on packaging investment by:
Fasson Fastrack Pressure Sensitive Paper Sheets
- Adding visual appeal to your product
- Creating a recognizable brand in stores
- Making a strong first impression with your customer
- Communicating key product information
- And driving sales
Pressure-sensitive labels provide you with the flexibility to create a label that delivers value.
But as you research your next label purchase, consider that you’ll need to select the right materials with all key considerations in mind. That means finding the best solutions not only for your design vision, branding and budget, but also selecting materials that withstand all the environments your product will face. From beverage freezers and household showers to hot summer days and automotive applications, products face specific environmental hazards that impact the materials and printing processes used to create your label. Depending on your product, your label manufacturer should provide solutions for:
- The outdoors
- Chemical exposure
- Extremely hot or cold temperatures
- Moisture, condensation and humidity
- And a host of other environmental hazards
To help you select the right materials, let’s take a closer look at what makes up a pressure-sensitive label.
The parts of pressure-sensitive labels: a closer look at selecting materials
Pressure-sensitive labels are made up of four primary parts:
- Face stock
- Release coating and liner
The topcoat is a finish applied to your label to protect it and add visual effects. The face stock is the base material with your printed design. It comes with an adhesive on the back that sticks to your product. The label peels off of a roll (or liner) treated with a non-stick (release) coating.
Selecting a face material
Your choice of face material heavily affects both the price and appearance of your label. You can use a variety of papers, films or metal foils. Generally, papers are traditional and less expensive, though there are premium paper options. Films are more durable solutions and can be treated to stand up to tough environments. One premium option is the foil label, used for specialty products or by brands looking to stand out with a metallic look.
Selecting an adhesive
Your adhesive choice depends on your face stock material, your packaging material, how customers interact with your product and the environments your product must survive. There are permanent adhesives for tough uses, temporary adhesives for removable labels (or removable coupons) and specialty adhesives that stand up to certain hazards, such as exposure to moisture that could cause your label to peel.
Selecting your finish
Adding a finish (or topcoat) is one of the last steps in the label process. Not every label requires a specialty finish, but adding one can give your product shelf appeal And finishes protect your label from harsh use and hazards, such as moisture, sunlight, temperature variations and chemicals. You can choose a matte, semi-gloss or gloss finish. While matte finishes add a muted, soft feel that creates a subtle, premium elegance, gloss adds attention-grabbing reflectiveness and is the brightest, most durable finish available. Semi-gloss is a great middle-ground solution.
These are just some of the most common options for face materials, adhesives and finishes — there are many more available. At Resource Label Group, we help you identify the best materials to fit the unique needs of your label and product.
Our pressure-sensitive label capabilities
We serve a broad range of markets and can print a variety of labels to help you meet any need. We can provide short runs in rapid turnarounds with digital labels or cost-effectively meet the biggest orders using flexographic printing. With our full-scale printing capabilities, we can meet any design need, including:
- Unlimited color combinations
- Custom graphics and illustrations in detailed, vibrant clarity
- Printing on any film, foil or paper material to create any look
- Eye-catching, premium finish using golden, silver or colored foils
- Depth, texture and shine decorations with embossed labels or other custom solutions
- A clear, beautiful, durable finish with gloss varnishes, laminates or matte varnishes
- A finish you can feel made with our silk screened tactile labels
- Just the right look for your text, made with our selection of metallic,
- Pantone, UV and water-based inks
- Any size label for any size bottle, can, package or container
- And much, much more
All of these solutions are made possible with our versatile pressure-sensitive labels.
We’ll help you get that perfect label
Our creative team of problem solvers is dedicated to finding you the best solutions for your budget and the complexities of your order. Whether you need a branded design from our professional art department or a material solution from our experienced label professionals, we’ll help you achieve your ideal label. And we’ll walk you through the label process from start to finish, giving you a smooth experience. You’ll get a crisp, eye-catching label that reinforces your brand, meets your budget and separates your product on store shelves. To get information on custom label solutions for your product, give us a call at 1-800-253-9599 or request a consultation here.
Label solutions guideLearn label solutions for cost, design, finishes, regulations and tough environments. We walk you through the key purchasing decisions you’ll face and show you how to get a just-right label for your brand and budget.
Fasson Fastrack Pressure Sensitive Paper Projects
Pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA, self-adhesive, self-stick adhesive) is a type of non reactive adhesive which forms a bond when pressure is applied to bond the adhesive with a surface. No solvent, water, or heat is needed to activate the adhesive.It is used in pressure-sensitive tapes, labels, glue dots, note pads, automobile trim, and a wide variety of other products.
As the name 'pressure-sensitive' indicates, the degree of bond is influenced by the amount of pressure which is used to apply the adhesive to the surface.
Surface factors such as smoothness, surface energy, removal of contaminants, etc. are also important to proper bonding.
PSAs are usually designed to form a bond and hold properly at room temperatures. PSAs typically reduce or lose their tack at low temperatures and reduce their shear holding ability at high temperatures; special adhesives are made to function at high or low temperatures.
Structural and pressure-sensitive adhesives
Adhesives may be broadly divided in two classes: structural and pressure-sensitive. To form a permanent bond, structural adhesives harden via processes such as evaporation of solvent (for example, white glue), reaction with UV radiation (as in dental adhesives), chemical reaction (such as two part epoxy), or cooling (as in hot melt). In contrast, pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSAs) form a bond simply by the application of light pressure to marry the adhesive with the adherend.
Pressure-sensitive adhesives are designed with a balance between flow and resistance to flow. The bond forms because the adhesive is soft enough to flow, or wet, the adherend. The bond has strength because the adhesive is hard enough to resist flow when stress is applied to the bond. Once the adhesive and the adherend are in proximity, there are also molecular interactions such as van der Waals forces involved in the bond, which contribute significantly to the ultimate bond strength. PSAs exhibit viscoelastic (viscous and elastic) properties, both of which are used for proper bonding.
In contrast with structural adhesives, whose strength is evaluated as lap shear strength, pressure-sensitive adhesives are characterized by their shear and peel resistance as well as their initial tack. These properties are dependent, among other things, on the formulation, coating thickness, rub-down and temperature.
'Permanent' pressure-sensitive adhesives are initially pressure-sensitive and removable (for example to recover mislabeled goods) but after hours or days change their properties, by becoming less or not viscous, or by increasing the bond strength, so that the bond becomes permanent.
Effects of shape
The adhesive bonding of a tape or label can be affected by its shape. Tapes with pointed corners start to detach at those corners; adhesive strength can be improved by rounding the corners.
Pressure-sensitive adhesives are designed for either permanent or removable applications. Examples of permanent applications include safety labels for power equipment, foil tape for HVAC duct work, automotive interior trim assembly, and sound/vibration damping films. Some high performance permanent PSAs exhibit high adhesion values and can support kilograms of weight per square centimeter of contact area, even at elevated temperature. These build adhesion to a permanent bond after several hours or days.
Removable adhesives are designed to form a temporary bond, and ideally can be removed after months or years without leaving residue on the adherend. Removable adhesives are used in applications such as surface protection films, masking tapes, bookmark and note papers, price marking labels, promotional graphics materials, and for skin contact (wound care dressings, EKG electrodes, athletic tape, analgesic and transdermal drug patches, etc.). Some removable adhesives are designed to repeatedly stick and unstick. They have low adhesion and generally cannot support much weight.
Sometimes clean removal of pressure sensitive tape can be difficult without damaging the substrate that it is adhered to. Pulling at a slow rate and with a low angle of peel helps reduce surface damage. PSA residue can be softened with certain organic solvents or heat. Extreme cold (dry ice, freeze spray, etc.) can cause viscoelastic materials to change to a glass phase; thus it is useful for removing many types of PSAs. 
Pressure-sensitive adhesives are manufactured with either a liquid carrier or in 100% solid form. Articles such as tapes and labels are made from liquid PSAs by coating the adhesive on a support and evaporating the organic solvent or water carrier, usually in a hot air dryer. The dry adhesive may be further heated to initiate a cross-linking reaction and increase molecular weight. 100% solid PSAs may be low viscosity polymers that are coated and then reacted with radiation to increase molecular weight and form the adhesive (radiation cured PSA); or they may be high-viscosity materials that are heated to reduce viscosity enough to allow coating, and then cooled to their final form (hot melt PSA, HMPSA).
PSAs are usually based on an elastomer compounded with a suitable tackifier (e.g., a rosinester). The elastomers can be based on acrylics, which can have sufficient tack on their own and do not require a tackifier.; bio-based acrylate – recently, a biological-based macromonomer was grafted onto a backbone of acrylate so that the resulting PSA uses 60% bio-based materials,butyl rubber, ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) with high vinyl acetate content; can be formulated as a hot-melt PSA, natural rubber, nitriles, silicone rubbers, requiring special tackifiers based on 'MQ' silicate resins, composed of a monofunctional trimethyl silane ('M') reacted with quadrafunctional silicon tetrachloride ('Q').
Styreneblock copolymers (SBC), also called styrene copolymer adhesives and rubber-based adhesives, have good low-temperature flexibility, high elongation, and high heat resistance. They are frequently used in hot melt adhesive applications, where the composition retains tack even when solidified; however non-pressure-sensitive formulations are also used. High heat resistance, good low-temperature flexibility. Lower strength than polyesters. They usually have A-B-A structure, with an elastic rubber segment between two rigid plastic endblocks. High-strength film formers as standalone, increase cohesion and viscosity as an additive. Water-resistant, soluble in some organic solvents; cross-linking improves solvent resistance. Resins associating with endblocks (cumarone-indene, α-methyl styrene, vinyl toluene, aromatic hydrocarbons, etc.) improve adhesion and alter viscosity. Resins associating to the midblocks (aliphatic olefins, rosin esters, polyterpenes, terpene phenolics) improve adhesion, processing and pressure-sensitive properties. Addition of plasticizers reduces cost, improves pressure-sensitive tack, decrease melt viscosity, decrease hardness, and improve low-temperature flexibility. The A-B-A structure promotes a phase separation of the polymer, binding together the endblocks, with the central elastic parts acting as cross-links; SBCs do not require additional cross-linking, styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS), used in high-strength PSA applications styrene-ethylene/butylene-styrene (SEBS), used in low self-adhering non-woven applications, styrene-ethylene/propylene (SEP), styrene-isoprene-styrene (SIS), used in low-viscosity high-tack PSA applications, vinyl ethers.
- ^Popov, Valentin L.; Pohrt, Roman; Li, Qiang (2017-09-01). 'Strength of adhesive contacts: Influence of contact geometry and material gradients'. Friction. 5 (3): 308–325. doi:10.1007/s40544-017-0177-3. ISSN2223-7690.
- ^Friction Physics (2017-12-06), Science friction: Adhesion of complex shapes, retrieved 2018-01-02
- ^US5,798,169, Smith, 'SELF. CONTAINING TAMPER EVIDENT SEAL', published 1998
- ^'Bio-based PSA'.
- ^Liesl K. Massey (1 January 2003). Permeability Properties of Plastics and Elastomers, 2nd Ed.: A Guide to Packaging and Barrier Materials. William Andrew. pp. 582–. ISBN978-0-8155-1851-8.
- ^Mark, James E. (21 March 2007). Physical Properties of Polymers Handbook. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN9780387690025 – via Google Books.
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- 'Pressure Sensitive Adhesive Tapes', J. Johnston, PSTC, 2003, ISBN0-9728001-0-7
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