Because of the challenging, non-polar nature of the material, HDPE drums and containers demand a lot from a label adhesive. The roughness of the plastic requires a soft adhesive for full adhesive wet-out and bonding, while the drum curvature requires good adhesive flexibility. Temporary repositionability may also be desirable so misaligned labels applied by hand can be repositioned.
Steel drums have highly variable label performance requirements as several labels of varying sizes and levels of durability may be applied. Different adhesives, films, and in some cases even paper labels may be present on the same container.
Painted and lacquered metal drum surfaces are smooth and polar in nature, so a strong adhesive bond is relatively easy to achieve, provided the adhesive has good flexibility to align with the curved surface. As rigid metal drums rub against each other during transport, label faces need to support good image stability to minimize print abrasion and smudging.
Labels for both HDPE and metal drums and containers require lasting outdoor durability – including UV and water resistance – and British Standard BS5609 is a likely requirement as these containers are often transported by sea. For outdoor use, we recommend our synthetic papers.