Organizations and institutions across all industries have now embraced the reliability and flexibility that barcode labels offer for their inventory management. The labels also form a low-cost technology for the collection of data for asset or inventory management, and advertising among others.

Your barcode label comprises four parts. These include the topcoat, adhesive, face stock, and liner. The adhesive determines the ability of the barcode labels sourced from an NZ-based supplier to stick to the product.

There are many varieties of adhesives suited to different environmental conditions, bonding surfaces, and materials. Pressure-sensitive-adhesives (PSAs) are one of the most flexible options for barcode labels.

These require pressure to adhere to a surface, unlike others which might call for moisture, heat or solvent application. Here are some of the PSA options you have for your barcode labels. T & D Print tells us more.

Acrylic Adhesives

These are solvent-based PSAs. Their polymer selection can be manipulated to suit a broad range of needs for different industries. Acrylic PSAs contain long cross-linked polymer chains which boost their performance.

They are also shear, UV, humidity, and ozone-resistant and can thus be used for products stored outdoors for a prolonged period. They, however, have a moderate removability for residue after their application and a low bond to non-polar substrates.

Synthetic Rubber Adhesives

These adhesives, unlike others, have two hard-end segments made of styrene and a butadiene layer in their middle. The rubbery butadiene layer determines the strength of the adhesive while the two styrene layers determine its internal strength and consequently cohesiveness.

Synthetic rubber adhesives have a high initial grab, excellent adhesion to polar and non-polar substrates and are low cost. They, however, have a low resistance to the effects of humidity, moisture, ozone, plasticizers, and solvents.

Natural Rubber Adhesives

These are characterized by long polymer chains that enhance the adhesives’ flexibility and strength. Natural rubber adhesives have a high initial grab and remain residue-free when removed, making them suitable for temporary barcode labels.

They also have excellent adhesion to non-polar and polar surfaces. Natural rubbers PSAs, however, have a low-resistance to harsh environmental conditions and are hence often used for products that will be stored indoors. They also have a low solvent, chemical, sheer and aging resistance.

Silicone Adhesives

scanning box with barcode reader

These adhesives have excellent cold, heat, moisture and chemical resistance. They also have optimal adhesion to materials made from fluoropolymers and silicone rubbers and do not trap air when applied. They are however more costly than other types of PSAs.

The pressure-sensitive labels mentioned here can be used on virtually all products including machines, pharmaceuticals, and food. They are easier to apply compared with other types of labels and work with most types of product finishes.

The adhesives are further categorized as peelable, freezer, permanent, high-tack and ultra-peelable depending on their bond strength. Ultra-peelable adhesives are generally the easiest to remove owing to their low adhesive strength while peelable ones have higher bond strength but can be removed.

Permanent ones cannot be peeled off while the bond of freezer PSAs remains unchanged in cold temperatures. High-tack PSAs are used on uneven and rough substrates.