Today, LSE polyolefin plastics have replaced steel as the primary material of choice for durable goods. But keep in mind most Labeling ASTM/Safety standards were written during the time period when pressure sensitive adhesive labels were being applied to steel and other high surface energy materials.
Durability, resistance to chemical and environmental exposures drove the need for polyolefins. The problems arose with the incompatible resistant nature of polyolefins. Label adhesives attempting to adhere to the surface are rejected. This incompatible nature prevents pressure sensitive adhesive labels, hot-stamp foil inks, heat transfers, screen/pad printing inks and IML’s from permanently adhere or bond to polyolefin plastic. The evidence can be seen when labels undergo days, months and years of abuse from real-world environmental. Delamination, gouges and scratches expose incompatible labeling methods to chemicals, UV, moisture and other elements attacking sensitive underlying layers leaving labels unreadable and/or severely damaged.
Polyfuze Fusion Technology, 100% compatible pigmented polyolefin polymer, overcomes the Incompatible Nature of Polyolefin Plastic providing the only permanent labeling solution guaranteed for life.
Polyolefins account for more than 55% of total global Plastics Materials demand in 2015, and growing.
According to PlasticsEurope Market Research Group, plastics have been in continuous growth for more than 50 years and plastics production worldwide has ramped up from 1.5 million tons in 1950 to approximately 322 million tons in 2015.
2018 Global polypropylene production:
2018 Global polyethylene production:
Since 1989, polyolefin production has surpassed steel production volumes at a rapid pace. But why?
The reduction of hundreds of more expensive steel parts to small handfuls of cheaper polyolefin parts allowed manufacturers and OEM’s to eliminate secondary operations while reducing the cost of manufacturing and products significantly.
The ability to resist attack from chemicals, harsh environments and heavy impacts while lasting 3 years or more, the normal life expectancy for most durable goods products, makes polyolefins a better choice than steel.
For automotive, powersports and outdoor power equipment manufacturers, polyolefins make their products safer and more fuel-efficient by reducing weight and increasing fuel economy.
Polyolefins, like many plastics today, simply make products safer and more durable for consumers.
You see it every day on products made from polyolefin plastic no matter the industry: Failed labeling.
In the mid 1990’s, as durable products were converted from metals to polyolefin plastics, labeling standards that had been in place remained with no significant changes, especially to specifications for durability testing of adhesive-based labels. Back then, as it continues today, adhesive-based labels are applied to high surface energy stainless steel, aluminum or glass and subjected to chemical and environmental testing.
Yet, global label suppliers’ continue to market and sell those same adhesive-based labels as permanent for LSE polyolefin plastics knowing well that those labels have never undergone chemical or durability testing when applied to actual LSE polyolefin plastics. Instead, they claim they are “Solving the low surface-energy labeling challenge.” But they’re not, and the proof is in what we see.
So why aren’t chemical and environmental tests being conducted on labels applied to LSE polyolefin plastics? First, because those labels have no long-term durability and will fail miserably when exposed to harsh environments or chemicals. Secondly, the existing Safety Labeling Standards don’t mandate they be tested that way.
Polyfuze Fusion Labeling has changed the game, and the standards.
Using the same 3 stage test Polyfuze does is a sure way to see whether your current labels are in fact permanent enough to withstand years of environmental and chemical abuse.