Common Questions Answered About Heat Resistant Labels

What temperatures can durable label materials withstand?

Polyethylene labels are the cheapest with the lowest overall level of temperature resistance and print durability with a low maximum temperature of ~60°C, Vinyl labels perform slightly better at ~110°C and Polypropylene labels have a maximum temperature of ~120°C

Polyester labels are by far the most versatile with excellent print durability and a peak temperature of ~155°C

What would you suggest for temperatures above 155°C?

Temperature modified polyester labels can resist higher peak temperatures for short periods ~300°C (60 secs) but the higher heat resistance is achieved with a Polyimide label ~ 388°C (15 minutes). Polyimide is most commonly used for PCB identification through the high temperature production process. We can also supply labels that can resist over 500°C.

What if the labels are exposed to constant high-temperatures?

There are many different end-use applications where high temperature labels are used, it is not possible to simulate long term performance in high-temperatures specific to your application so it is best for you to test for yourself off of our recommendation. Long term identification in temperature environments within the max temperature stated on a data sheet should be fine.

If you conduct your own tests you will quickly see if the material is inappropriate, as it will shrink if the temperature is too high.

Which label provides the best heat resistance?

The label with the highest temperature rating is not the best performing label overall. For instance Polyimide labels are best suited for the flat surface of PCB’s and do not adhere well to the textured surface of a more industrial application. Also, peak temperatures stated on label datasheets are only a general guide. With our guidance it is often wise to test a label with a lower temperature threshold in your application to test performance.

Temperature thresholds on datasheets are ‘general safe limits’ but higher temperatures may be achievable because of your specific end use. We have a good customer using Polyester labels with a temperature limit of 155°C in a powder coating application which bakes the paint and label at 230°C with no negative impact to the label.

Why is the type of adhesive important?

If the surface gets hot, a water or rubber-based adhesive will dry out and deteriorate. Your label must have a solvent acrylic adhesive to remain permanently stuck to your product/item.

If the adhesive stated on your preferred labels says ‘acrylic’, this is too vague and is probably a water-based acrylic adhesive. It must say ‘solvent acrylic’ to be certain of permanent adhesion.