How to stop handwritten labels fading outside
Written by Oliver Stockton, Managing Director, CILS
If you need to handwrite durable outdoor labels it is vital that you use the correct pen but you may be surprised to learn that ordinary graphite pencils are cheaper and better.
‘Sign and Seal’ labels are the ideal solution to resist weathering
CILS ‘Sign and Seal’ labels are a very useful way to identify products that are stored or used outside and need to resist weathering but can’t be computer printed.
Who uses CILS ‘Sign and Seal’ labels?
‘Sign and Seal’ labels are used frequently by certified engineers and technicians that conduct maintenance, service, repair, decommissioning, leak check and recovery of gasses from refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment, whether stationary or on trucks and trailers.
They have to meet the ‘Obligation on Contractors’ under EC517/2014 Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases Regulation which dictates a frequency of leak checks between 3 to 12 months if there is no leak detection system in place, or 6 to 24 months if there is.
You need to be certain your data won’t fade
If you use a label detailing the date last checked and you write it by hand, you want to be certain that your information is still readable and doesn’t fade with exposure to outside elements. After all, it is inevitable that the units being checked and serviced, are located outdoors.
What should you use?
It is best to either use a black aerospace pen such as an Edding 8404 Aerospace pen that can be purchased from Amazon, etc. however, ordinary graphite pencils are ideal because graphite does not fade.
How is a pencil more durable?
The base label on a ‘Sign and Seal’ label is matt polyester so very easy to write on, and there is an attached laminate that provides the durability. It is important to mention that handwriting in pencil may not fade but the graphite used in pencil production is a powder, not a solid, therefore may smudge. The laminate is essential to resist weathering.
Photo taken on 15th October 2019 (22 months)
South facing horizontal surface, Location UK South Coast.
If you need to be absolutely certain that your labels will be readable after several years of outdoor exposure, we can make your ‘Sign and Seal’ labels with a laminate that is rated for 8 years of outdoor life. This depends on the location and the substrate the label is applied to but will provide added assurance if needed.
Are CILS ‘Sign and Seal’ labels just for the HVAC industry?
CILS ‘Sign and Seal’ labels are not exclusively used for the HVAC industry but can be used for any situation requiring handwritten labels outdoors.