A Guide to Our Most Commonly Used Adhesives
We offer a large range of adhesives for use on our custom labels, overlays and membranes. Some of our clients have a good knowledge of what they need for their requirement but we don’t expect it – that’s why our experts are on hand to guide you on the most suitable material and adhesive combinations for your application.
Adhesives by Process:
Below you will find information on the range of our standard range of adhesives, although we can source different varieties should your application require it.
Digital & Screen Print
The majority of our Digital & Screen Printed labels are sub-surface printed before being applied with one of the following adhesives. This ensures maximum durability as the print is sealed between the surface material and the adhesive.
3M 200MP Series: The range includes 467, 468, 7962 and 7965. This series of adhesives are our most commonly used and are considered high quality with permanent adhesion (which could damage the applied surface or print when removed) and suitable for outdoor use. We confirm this adhesive passes the ‘Print Application Test’ on all of our print procedures – we do not however, recommend multiple or aggressive repositioning of labels / overlays and therefore does not guarantee print adhesion in these circumstances.View 3M 200MP Spec Sheet
3M 9471: High strength acrylic adhesive that provides a very high bond to almost all surfaces. This adhesive should only be used when NO repositioning of labels / overlays is, or could be required. We confirm this adhesive failed the ‘Print Application Test’ when removed therefore Fine Cut does not guarantee print adhesion for any repositioning of labels / overlays.View 3M 9471 Spec Sheet
DS/2 Polyester: Economy double sided adhesive tape for general mounting applications. We confirm this adhesive passes the ‘Print Application Test’ on all of our print procedures.View DS2 Spec Sheet
MACtouch Spacer: A double sided acrylic adhesive system, with an internal polyester film. Properties include superior stay flat and die cutting qualities which is why it is predominantly used in the assembly of membrane switch panels. We confirm this adhesive passes the ‘Print Application Test’ on all of our print procedures.View MACtouch Spec Sheet
3M 8132LE: Specialist adhesive with similar properties to 3M 9471 variety. This adhesive should only be used when NO repositioning of labels / overlays is, or could be required. This adhesive has not been tested via the ‘Print Application Test’ therefore we offer no guarantee of print adhesion when re-positioning labels / overlays. If you require further details or testing before use, please contact us.View 3M 8132LE Spec Sheet
3M 4941: A conformable foam tape with a single sided very high bond acrylic adhesive. Principle advantages include providing a more uniform seal on irregular surfaces and its specially formulated adhesive that resists plasticiser migration. Commonly used on gasket assembly and applications which do not require adhesion to another surface. This adhesive does not require testing as it can not be applied to another surface.View 3M 4941 Spec Sheet
3M 4664: Double sided foam tape with a pressure sensitive acrylic adhesive. Possesses a high ultimate bond strength along with very high temperature and solvent resistance. This adhesive has not been tested via the ‘Print Application Test’ therefore we offer no guarantee of print adhesion when re-positioning labels / overlays. If you require further details or testing before use, please contact us.View 3M 4664 Spec Sheet
Roll to Roll
Our roll to roll process offers a wide selection of adhesive options. Unlike the screen & digital process, the majority of labels are surface printed which means that the adhesive is an intrinsic part of the material selected. For extra durability we suggest an over laminate.
Our offerings include a range of material and adhesive combinations which are often specialised for use within specific industries, including industrial, medical, cryogenic, autoclave as well as extreme high and low temperatures. Below are the basic options we stock although many more are available dependant upon application – please contact one of our technical experts to discuss further options.
- Low Tack
- Water Soluble
- Semi Permanent
- Void Evident
- High Tack
- Tamper evident
Print Application Test
We stringently test the complete range of print procedures to ensure they comply with the requirements of our customers and are compatible with the adhesives we offer.
Our tests also determine our accepted application tolerances for each adhesive and the guidance we give to our customers in relation to their requirement.
Many print manufactures use the “cross hatch” or “tape” test to evaluate a prints adhesion to a substrate, however this method does not take into account the grab of the adhesive in a real world situation, which is why we have developed our own additional test to ensure our customers are informed on what they can expect from their labels and overlays during application.
Detailed below is our accepted print adhesion test, which determines the adhesion of the print to the substrate and is the basis for our advice and accepted limitations when applying / repositioning the label or overlay during application (as detailed against each adhesive above). Every test sample is subjected to the same controlled test to ensure consistency.
- Substrate is handled in accordance with product guidelines, including minimised exposure to fingerprints and application of print primer if necessary (dependant on substrate and print process).
- Substrate is printed via selected print process (digital, screen etc) with standard colour matrix, to test the full gamut of colour including white inks if applicable.
- Print is cured via appropriate method dependant on application (UV exposure, air drying, heat etc)
- Print is racked for 24 hours to ensure cure process has completed.
- Range of adhesives applied to print surface.
- Completed test sample is left a further 24 hours to ensure bond between print and adhesive is complete
- Test sample has adhesive liners removed and is inspected for any damage during removal.
- Test sample is applied to a flat aluminium panel and receives one gentle hand wipe (to simulate applying the label / overlay / membrane gently before realising it requires re-positioning). Please note: The test sample is not aggressively applied to the surface or rubbed to ensure good adhesion as we do not consider this as an acceptable application before re-positioning / removing the label or overlay in a real world situation
- Test sample is removed from the flat panel, pulling gently from one corner. Please note: The test sample is not aggressively pulled / ripped from surface as we do not consider this a fair trial of replicating a real world application.
- Test sample is inspected for damage to print and receives pass or fail status and documented.
If you have any questions relating to our adhesives and print application test, please contact one of our technical experts.
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