Industrial chemical labels do hard duty. Not only must they withstand exposure to chemical solvents, but they often label products stored outdoors or in challenging environments. Thus, these labels must also hang tough in the face of heat, oxidation, water and UV rays. Both labels and adhesive materials must last and last, often for years of usage, while their printed image must be clear and readable to ensure user safety.
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Industrial chemical labels are usually very large, as they warn users of any hazards posed by product ingredients, provide safe handling instructions and promote the company brand and product.
Pressure sensitive materials are pressed into service to label:
- Bulk chemicals
- Oils and paints
- Building items
- Consumer chemicals
- Agricultural products
Cover up with the right container
Obviously, not just any container will do for storing chemicals and solvents. These items are usually placed in intermediate bulk containers (IBC) made from high density polyethylene (HDPE) or drums and cans made of steel or HDPEs. Labels are placed on these different substrates.
Adhesives also play a key role and should be paired with the right substrate. UPM Raflatac offers RP50 for freshly blown warm containers. This product provides exceptional adhesion while driving operational throughput. RP77 and RH adhesives are ideal for cold containers and surfaces. These adhesives enjoy the challenge of a good chill while delivering exceptional performance during their extended lifecycles.
Contribute to product safety
Chemical warning labels play a starring role in industrial chemical applications, as they identify products and any possible hazardous components. Recent EU legislation requires that manufacturers classify and label products and provide information on preparation. BS5609 establishes standards for self adhesive labels intended for marine use. Companies throughout Europe carefully follow this regulation’s provisions to ensure that dangerous goods transported by sea are durably labeled and identified.
Label material selection depends on a number of factors, including container surface, label size and function and outdoor requirements. Small containers are often labeled with standard PE film or PP films with special end use adhesive. The tougher the requirements for the substrate, the higher functioning the label will need to be. UPM Raflatac offers labels with special coatings, such as Polyprint 100, Synlite TTR and Syntransfer. Matt grades are preferred, though the use of gloss film materials is increasing.
Choose the right print method
The primary printing methods used in industrial chemical labeling are flexo printing and UV letterpress. For variable information printing (VIP) applications, thermal transfer and laser systems are most in demand. Laser printing on film labels requires special materials, such as UPM Raflatac’s Polylaser or PE Laser.