What Is Hot Stamp Foil Labeling? What Alternatives Are There?

Noelle Daigle

Sep, 30 September, 2022

“I could have sworn the man just levitated” said a spectator at a magic show. Things are not always as they appear. Take for example the blue/black dress vs. white/gold dress controversy. Is milk good or bad? Enough said…

What’s the real cost of hot stamp foil?

It’s an illusion similar to the ole person sawed in half trick. So many questions need to be asked to answer this one. Sure the square inch cost of this decorating method makes it appear a very inexpensive way to brand. However, did you ever think about:

  • The scrap it produces?
  • The cost of grinding your product up in the event of a scrapped part?
  • The cost of your injection molding machine to remake the scrapped part?
  • The cost of the new resin going into that remade part?
  • The loss of capacity to your production floor?
  • The dollar amount of the products you could have made if you hadn’t lost production capacity?

Scary to think about isn’t it? Maybe that’s why many companies rarely look beyond the square inch cost for the material and don’t look any further.

When a company makes a claim about the cost of their products, they may be technically correct, but they may not have told you about other considerations such as the time that may be taken up.

To understand the true cost I would like to invite you to challenge yourself and take a look at the video that compares hot stamping foil methods with Polyfuze. It can be an eye opening experience and you may just get to the bottom of some of the problems you’ve been having at your production facility.

Hopefully things are going well for your production team and the scrap associated with decorating is at an all-time low. But for the vast majority of molders, improvements can be made in this area, and the savings have the potential to be significant.

What is Hot Stamp Foil?

Hot stamping foil is a thin film that can be used to permanently transfer pigmented colour designs to a substrate. It effectively forms a sort of stamping process.

The fact that this method has traditionally used foils and metals as part of the production method means that there is quite a unique look which can have decorative purposes rather than being used for something like a functional product label.

Hot stamped foil is quite unique and this means that it can be used as anti-counterfeiting, but it has been used a lot in a variety of different settings historically.

A lot of the time it is still used on paper stock and books, plus cards and invitations, but the fact that there are non-metallic versions have opened up the uses of this type of stamping, and it can also be used on luxury products, food, medical supplies, and more.

How Does it Work?

Both heat and pressure are applied to the foil over the top of a substrate which uses a stamping plate. This melts the adhesive layer of the foil, and in the process it is able to transfer the substrate onto the surface.

The machine, a hot foil stamper, can be a standalone product but they are sometimes also added to specific printers or other manufacturing equipment.

The types of die in the system may be made of brass and then use etching or engraving. There is a much smaller margin for error with this method than there are with some of the others, which means that it is possible that the method can bring about a lot of waste.

Comparison with Polymer Fusion

Polymer fusion technology is a permanent labeling solution that provides a recyclable solution, and offers full compatibility with Polyolefins.

Hot stamp foil labeling can be a very volatile process and this means that there are many potential errors. However, polymer fusion is much more reliable and therefore this means that you will have less waste and scrap.

Once you actually start to run the numbers between hot stamp foil labeling and polymer fusion you will see how polymer fusion can save you money.

Some estimates state that seven percent of items that use hot stamping foil have to be remade. These are likely to be defective, and this means almost 300 hours of time added to a 500,000 part production run.

Let’s not forget that this would also cost a huge amount more in terms of resin, and the labor of your employees who will be carrying out the stamping or printing.

While the cost on paper might look appealing when you explore hot stamped foil methods, it doesn’t necessarily pan out this way as it can cost you a huge amount in terms of staff time, and lets not forget about the potential inconvenience of this, too.

Advantages of Polymer Fusion

Polymer fusion is growing at a huge rate and it is easy to see why when you explore a lot of the benefits. We’ve already mentioned that other methods may produce a lot of scrap which comes with its own costs. Polymer fusion allows a much more control over scrap.

On top of this, the polymer fusion methods are much more eco-friendly, with recyclable materials used. Those who are on the fence about whether they wish to use this method or not can also consider the warranty offered on a Polyfuze warranty which can provide you with lifetime protection.

Another huge advantage is the fact that polymer fusion is a lot quicker, certainly when compared to hot stamp foil labeling (and especially when you consider the rate of waste products). This means that by switching to this method or using it from the outset, companies are able to increase their productivity rate.

Compare Labeling Systems For Polyolefin Plastics

Hot StampPolyfuze
Fusion Labeling
Polyfuze VF
Fusion Labeling
Equipment NecessaryHot Stamp: Hot Stamp
Machine
Polyfuze
Fusion Labeling:
VersaFlex
Machine
Polyfuze VF
Fusion Labeling:
VersaFlex
Machine
How AppliedHot Stamp: Hot Melt AdhesivePolyfuze
Fusion Labeling:
Fusion Technology
Polyfuze VF
Fusion Labeling:
Fusion Technology
Permanence to PolyolefinsHot Stamp: Not
Permanent
Polyfuze
Fusion Labeling:
Guaranteed Permanent
Polyfuze VF
Fusion Labeling:
Guaranteed Permanent
Application PressureHot Stamp: Not
Permanent
Polyfuze
Fusion Labeling:
Guaranteed Permanent
Polyfuze VF
Fusion Labeling:
Guaranteed Permanent
Application TemperatureHot Stamp: HIGH Pressure 400-500psiPolyfuze
Fusion Labeling:
LOW Pressure 75psi
Polyfuze VF
Fusion Labeling:
LOW Pressure 25psi
Construction LayersHot Stamp: 350°-400°FPolyfuze
Fusion Labeling:
450°F
Polyfuze VF
Fusion Labeling:
450°F
Compatibility to PolyolefinsHot Stamp: †IncompatiblePolyfuze
Fusion Labeling:
†Fully
Polyfuze VF
Fusion Labeling:
†Fully
RecyclabilityHot Stamp: ContaminantPolyfuze
Fusion Labeling:
Fully Recyclable
Polyfuze VF
Fusion Labeling:
Fully Recyclable
Pre-treatment for Bond SiteHot Stamp: YesPolyfuze
Fusion Labeling:
No
Polyfuze VF
Fusion Labeling:
No
Expected Outdoor LifeHot Stamp: *< 1 YearPolyfuze
Fusion Labeling:
Product Life
Polyfuze VF
Fusion Labeling:
Product Life
WarrantyHot Stamp: NonePolyfuze
Fusion Labeling:
Lifetime
Polyfuze VF
Fusion Labeling:
Lifetime

Incompatible label construction is directly to adhesion, bonding & permanency olefinic thermoplastics. Only fully compatible Polyfuze labels become durable as as the base polyolefin plastic for longevity and permanency.

*

Polyolefin Thermoplastics are like Teflon (non-polar, low surface energy, expand/contract, outgas) which simultaneously and continuously oppose bonding and adhesion from incompatible label’sources. When exposed, to harsh mechanical, chemical & environmental inputs, labels delaminate completely or show signs of deterioration and/or failure within a short period of time. Fully compatible Polyfuze labels assume the same durable characteristics as the base same exposures for a products life use.

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Easy To Apply - Polyfuze Labeling Using the VERSAFLEX System

Easy To Apply Polyfuze Labels - Using Standard Hot Stamp / Heat Transfer Equipment

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