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Label Application

Storage:
Labels should be stored at room temperature or approximately 68 - 78°F with approximately 50% relative humidity (non-condensing).

Surface Preparation:
Label application surface should be dry and free of oil, dust and/or oxidized material. Surfaces may be cleaned with an all purpose industrial cleaning/degreasing solution, or isopropyl alcohol. Stronger solvents may be required to remove mold release process oils from new materials. Oxidized surfaces may require sanding or other abrasive methods including bead blasting or sand blasting and polishing. Wipe the surface dry with clean rags or paper towels. Avoid commercial shop towels due to cleaning residue in the towel as it will contaminate the surface. Plastic bottles may require flame or corona treatment for good adhesion.

Application Temperature:
The label stock should be at approximately the same temperature as the application surface (recommended 70°F to 90°F) before application. While the label may adhere at a lower temperature it is recommended that surface be at least 50°F. Below the minimum label application temperature most adhesive can become too thick and stiff to “wet-out” and adhere. However, there are some adhesives are qualified for cold temperature application and will adhere in freezing, cold/wet conditions. Verify use and minimum application temperature before applying any label.

There are many methods of application depending on the size of the label, the type of adhesive, the number of splits in the liner and the shape of the container.

Hand application:
Start with clean hands; remove the liner from the label stock being careful not to touch the adhesive with your fingers. Do not allow the adhesive to become contaminated with dust or dirt.

Small labels are usually applied by removing the entire liner, aligning the label so it is straight and press the label to the surface. Any bubbles or wrinkles can usually be worked out from edge to edge or center to an edge.

Large labels will sometimes have multiple slits in the liner to allow partial exposing of the adhesive. This allows the labels to be applied by removing part of the liner to start the application. For this type of label, remove part of the liner, align the label so it is straight then with a slight curl attach the middle of the label to the surface, then work any bubbles or wrinkles to the edges. If the liner was not completely removed carefully remove the balance of the liner and work any bubbles or wrinkles to the edges. Some adhesives are highly aggressive and will not allow repositioning or removal of bubbles and wrinkles. If you find it difficult to get a smooth application you can use a hair dryer to soften the adhesive, then lift and reposition. Another method is to VERY LIGHTLY mist the application surface with a  ammonia-based liquid glass cleaner before applying the label. This is only recommended if the label is very large, the adhesive is aggressive and/or the surface irregular. Use a label squeegee to ensure good contact with the surface.

Finally, with firm pressure moving across the label to the edges to exclude air from behind the adhesive. Repeat this process two or three times to insure 100% adhesive contact to the surface. It is important that the adhesive “flow” or “wet-out” flowing into all the surface cracks and crevices.

Adhesives will achieve maximum adhesion within 24 - 48 hours post application. During this period the label should be kept at the recommended application temperature.