There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to label printing. While one type of label may be perfect for a particular application, it may not be the most effective material to use in certain conditions.
It’s all about printing a label that’s fit for your specific purpose. By combining the right stock with an appropriate adhesive and printing techniques, you’ll be able to create a long-lasting label that is well-suited to your needs.
The material you use will have the most significant impact on the strength of your sticker. It’s important to understand the properties of label printing materials to ensure you can make an informed decision and achieve the best possible results.
To help you make the right choice, here’s a selection of commonly used printing stocks that could provide you with a durable label solution.
BOPP (Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene Film)
Suitable for Cosmetic Labels, Food Labelling & Medical Label Printing
BOPP is an ideal material to use for labelling liquids and other viscous substances as it is water, oil and moisture resistant. Comprised of a moldable thermoplastic polymer, BOPP allows for the creation of labels that can be applied to curved shapes as well as squeezable bottles and containers. While it has some stretch to it, it’s also very robust, so it won’t wrinkle and crack or weaken and peel away from a surface.
As BOPP is non-toxic, it’s an excellent sticker stock to use on household labels like beauty products, medicines, food and beverages. Sometimes certain tinned foods can release gases that stain and deteriorate a label even when the contents are sealed inside. BOPP has acidic resistant properties that allow it to stand strong against such food types.
You can print BOPP labels on clear, non-transparent and metallic stocks that provide a shiny, reflective sheen. Clear BOPP stickers are often a popular choice for bathroom washes, while silver and chrome BOPP can add some flair to product packaging.
BOPP is best used for indoor purposes as its’ composition does not enable it to withstand exposure to sunlight and it is not UV resistant.
Ideal for Outdoor Applications
While vinyl comes in many different varieties, each type is simply a slightly modified form of the same synthetic plastic. It’s an extremely hard-wearing material, with sunlight, UV, humidity and moisture resistance. With the right adhesive, it can be applied to a wide range of surfaces including wood, glass, plastic and metal. Once adhered, the label won’t be able to shift or slip, but if you do decide to remove it, there will be zero residue left behind.
Vinyl is perfect for printing labels that will be used in outdoor conditions, such as signage, bumper stickers and more. It can be printed in matte, semi-gloss and gloss finishes, with the ability to hold bright and vibrant colours. It’s also environmentally friendly and one of the more cost-effective options.
Use for Chemical & Industrial Labels
Even stronger than vinyl, polyester takes durable label printing to the next level. While both materials can be adhered to many different surfaces, it’s the internal structure of polyester that allows for enhanced strength and tear resistance.
Given the density of the material, polyester can handle various temperatures as well as exposure to oils, solvents and certain chemicals. It’s great for use in extreme or harsh conditions, both indoors and outdoors, making it suitable for industrial labels. Depending on the stock, the finish and the thickness used, polyester labels can have a UV resistance of 2 years or more.
Best for Indoor Use & Practical Applications
Although polycarbonate is still considered to be a heavy-duty material, its strength is not on par with polyester and vinyl. However, it’s still highly durable and impervious to certain chemicals.
The main benefit of a polycarbonate label is its resistance to abrasion, scratching and scuffing. If you require a sticker for an asset that will be frequently handled or walked upon, polycarbonate is an option you should definitely consider.
It’s important to note that while polycarbonate is able to withstand some hotter temperatures, it has zero UV resistance, making it a poor choice for outdoor usage.
No matter what your label printing requirements may be, it’s best to seek assistance from a professional to ensure you’re using the right materials, ink and adhesive for your purpose. At The Label Factory in Perth, we can provide you with expert advice that will deliver the best results. We have more than twenty years’ experience in custom sticker label printing and can make sure you get exactly what you need. Contact us today.