How Permanent are Self-Adhesive Labels for Your Products

How Permanent are Self-Adhesive Labels for Your Products

One of the biggest challenges in the world of sticky labels is making sure that the labels have the right level of 'stickiness'. 

Removable self-adhesive labels need to be sticky but peel off without damaging the product underneath. Permanent labels need to stick and stay stuck. 

Knowing how long a label will remain sticky is useful when you're designing your products.

How Long Does a Label Stay Sticky For?

Permanent sticky labels are designed to be very difficult to remove. 

They aren't impossible to peel off, but the bond between the label and the surface that it is stuck to should be strong enough that the labels stay stuck against general friction and pulling during day to day use.

There are a few things that affect how sticky self-adhesive labels are, including:

  • Temperature

  • The surface the label is stuck to

  • How long the adhesive is given to bond with the surface

To understand how adhesives work, and how 'permanent' they are, you should first understand how adhesives work.

The glue that is on an adhesive backing has an 'initial tack', which is the strength that the bond will have when the label is first applied to the item. 

When you press on the label, the adhesive spreads out and bonds with the other surface. 

Over time, the adhesive will form a stronger bond, but it needs time to 'set'. 

The strength of the bond is weaker immediately after the label is applied, so if you put a label onto something then attempt to pull it off immediately, it will probably come away very easily.

Choose the Right Adhesive for the Job

Self-adhesive labels are usually intended for a specific type of job. 

Cold environments make it take longer for labels to stick, while warm environments mean that the adhesive may not be as strong as it should be. 

There are labels that are designed for specific environments or specialist applications, and you should choose the right label for the job. 

Adhesives for Specific Surfaces

The type of surface that you are trying to stick a label to will matter, as well. Smooth surfaces are harder for adhesives to bond to than rough surfaces. 

Plastics and glass bottles would need a different surface to a cardboard box, for example. 

You can get around problems with smooth surfaces by using larger labels and stronger adhesive.

You can also try wrapping the label all the way around the product so that it overlaps, giving at least part of the label something stronger to bond to.

Will Labels Stay Sticky?

Once a label is stuck to a product, in theory, it should stay there as long as the product is not subjected to frequent and extreme changes in temperature or humidity or anything else that might cause the label to curl and peel.

If you pull a label up and then attempt to restick it, then you might find that the label has lost some of its stickiness. 

There are some 're-stick' adhesives on the market that can be used for things like re-sealable sweet packets, and they work fairly well for that purpose.

However, the adhesive on them is intended to be quite tacky, but also easy to peel.

Stronger adhesives tend to dry out when they form a bond and are more likely to lose their stick with repeated application. 

They will also become less sticky if they get dusty or dirty. 

Usually, if you pull up a label you will need to re-glue it to make it stay down a second time.

If you do this then you should take care that the fresh glue does not seep, bleed or damage the label.

If you need some high quality self-adhesive product labels, then look no further than Onpack.

Onpack is an Australian owned company and we offer a personalised digital printing service catering to each individual brief and label requirement. Please call us today on +61 3 8388 8100 for all your digital label requirements.