See why durable labels can make a difference on product packaging
Finding the right labels for your products seems like an easy task. But depending on what you’re selling and how it’s packaged the difference between a standard paper label and a durable film label can mean the difference between ink smearing, labels tearing or the label adhesive peeling. Your product packaging and the environments your labels will be exposed to are the two most important things to consider when choosing your labels. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of durable labels, the testing Avery durable labels go through, and which products can benefit most from durable labels.
As the inventor of self-adhesive labels, and with almost 100 years of research and development behind its labels, Avery knows that certain changes and additions to the materials and construction of a standard label can enhance the way it performs. For instance, some durable labels are engineered to withstand things like freezers, sunlight, oils and water, while others are made from flexible materials that adhere to uniquely shaped or squeezable containers. There are also industrial-grade labels that can handle being submerged in the ocean for up to 90 days.
If you’re unsure if you need durable labels for your products, keep reading to see all the benefits.
What makes up a label?
Labels are made in many layers. The main three are: the facestock, the adhesive and the liner. The facestock is the front of your label, the part your customers will see. The adhesive is the glue that sticks to your packaging and can be permanent or removable, and the liner is the paper backing you remove from your label right before application.
Facestock: Standard labels are made with paper facestock. It can be a more substantial, premium paper but paper labels have their limitations. Durable labels are made from plastic films like polyester (PET), polypropylene (PP), and other synthetics to resist tearing, moisture, chemicals and more.
Adhesive: The adhesive on standard paper labels is generally designed for light, indoor use. The adhesive on many durable labels is designed to stay adhered in harsh environments.
Liner: The label liner is the backing paper that supports the label through manufacturing and protects the adhesive until it is applied to your products.
Topcoat: Durable labels feature a surface coating that increases ink adhesion with both standard and digital print technologies.
Avery uses only the highest quality facestocks, adhesives, liners and topcoats when manufacturing it’s labels. And all Avery labels are rigorously tested at industry-accepted standards or higher. Just a few of the tests the labels go through include tensile strength, 90-degree peel adhesion, Taber® abrasion and chemical resistance. All of the labels are also put through real-life adhesion and application testing.
Why these tests are important?
Tensile strength: Tensile test machines measure the pounds of force required to break a label. Durable labels have much higher tensile strength than standard paper labels making them more resistant to ripping and tearing.
90-degree peel adhesion: Tensile testing machines pull durable labels from a variety of surfaces at exactly 90 degrees to measure the pounds of force required for removal.
Taber® abrasion: Taber abrasion machines are the industry standard for testing resistance to scratching, scraping and rubbing. Avery durable labels are abrasion-resistant to preserve the print integrity and keep the labels readable to both humans and barcode scanners.
Chemical resistance: Avery durable labels must also pass chemical resistance tests such as heptane, HCL 37%, and pH3 buffer. They are also tested against common cleaning solutions like Windex, 409 and isopropyl alcohol.
Avery labels are not only tested for their durability but also for their ability to adhere to certain containers and in specific conditions.
Adhesive performance is conducted in a variety of different real-life extreme conditions. From the hot, dry environments of Arizona to the moist conditions in Florida, labels are tested to make sure they’ll stick no matter where you live.
The labels are also tested for their ability to adhere to difficult surfaces.
- Contoured containers – Small cylindrical bottles, pens, pencils
- Plastics – Storage containers
- Textured plastics -Heavy-duty storage bins
- Irregular surfaces – Plastic bags with items inside, recycled paper to-go bags, take-out containers
Real-life application testing
Avery puts its labels through actual in-use testing to ensure they will work in the conditions they were meant for. Some examples of testing done are:
- Security seals – Adhesion was evaluated on surfaces with moisture condensation replicating application to cold drinks.
- Soap and candle labels – Adhesion was evaluated on containers with candles lit to ensure the label adhesive sticks and stays on hot surfaces.
- Hand sanitizers – Label construction was evaluated to ensure print and graphics stay vibrant and resist a variety of commercial hand sanitizers
- Safety signs – Print durability was analyzed against a variety of splashes from water and cleaning solutions.
- Floor decals – Adhesion was evaluated on a variety of commercial flooring from marble and glazed porcelain to textured tiles. The impact of floor cleaners on the printed decals was also tested.
Label application tips
- 1. Clean your container surface so it’s free of contaminants (e.g. oils, liquid, moisture condensation, powder, dust)
- 2. Do not apply labels if the surface temperature is below 30°F at the time of application
- 3. Make sure your product surface is relatively uniform and flat
Recommended uses for durable labels
Avery durable labels will work great as a permanent labeling solution for almost any application. Some popular applications listed below can benefit from durable labels, as well as many others. If you don’t see your product listed below or want some help picking the right label, please call our Customer Care team at (800) 942-8379. They’ll be happy to give you advice.
Health & beauty products
Men’s grooming, essential oil, face serum, shampoo & conditioner, makeup, liquid soap, lip balm, body butter, lotion, cream, deodorant, oral care, hair gel, mousses, candles
Food & beverages
Condiments, sauces, jam, honey, marinade, frozen foods, bakery items, snack food, candy, spices, barcodes, coffee, tea, juice, water, beer, wine, hard liquors, craft brews
Flowers, CBD, beverages, vape cartridges, tinctures, edibles, topicals, concentrates, prerolls
Popular outdoor applications
Flower pots, fertilizers, gardening products, pet supplies, household cleaners, automotive products
What durable labels are right for you?
Avery offers a variety of durable labels for products and packaging. Whether you want to order thousands of custom printed labels or just a few label sheets, we have a solution.
Avery WePrint custom durable labels offer the widest variety of materials, finishes and formats of durable labels. Everything from clear film and squeezable labels to sleek metallics and thermal transfer labels is available to customize and order online.
If you want to print your durable labels yourself, Avery offers two options. You can choose from three waterproof film labels or two clear film labels in your size, shape and quantity or you can also buy several varieties of Avery packaged waterproof labels in-store or on Amazon.
Remember, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us by phone or email or leave a comment below. Sign up for our newsletter above to keep up to date on all the latest label news.