Polyolefin Plastics

4 Natures Of Polyolefin Plastics
Causing Labeling Failures

Adhesives and bonding technologies are incompatible with the nature of LSE polyolefin plastics which means they’re prevented from permanently adhering or bonding for long durations necessary for durable goods products.

Similar to Teflon™, these plastics are simultaneously & continuously opposing bonding & adhesion from these labeling methods leading to label failures that create problems.

Those problems lead to costs such as:
– Over Manufacturing
– Production Scrap
– Additional Materials & Secondary Labor
– Brand Identity Loss
– Safety/Warning Labeling Loss
– Consumer Safety Risks & “Failure To Warn”
– Asset Tracking Loss
– and more…

Incompatible Labeling Methods Create Problems - Try Polyfuze
Incompatible Labeling Methods Create Problems

Incompatible labeling sources are produced using “off the shelf” inks including UV coatings to protect them from exposures to harsh elements/weather conditions. Once printed on the base substrate, specially formulated adhesives or bonding layers are applied with intention to “stick” or “bond” to the unique surface of polyolefin plastics. Due to the incompatible nature of polyolefin plastics (surface similar to Teflon™) the “stick” or “bond” adhesion eventually delaminates resulting in label failure.

By comparison, Polyfuze Labels are produced from proprietary pigmented polymers that are 100% compatible with polyolefin plastics. Once the fusion process is complete, Polyfuze Label and polyolefin product combine forming one piece of seamless plastic. Evidence has shown the only option for longevity and true label permanence is Polyfuze Fusion Labeling Technology.

The Most LABELED Plastic In The World Today!

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 and tie layers attempting to adhere or bond 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 adhering or bonding to polyolefin plastic. The evidence can be seen when labels undergo days, months and years of abuse from real-world harsh environments. De-lamination, 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.

Demand: Polyolefins Growing

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:

  • 55.9 million metric tons.
  • $97.4 billion U.S. Dollars.
  • 5.84% annual growth expected.

2018 Global polyethylene production:

  • 99.6 million metric tons.
  • $164 billion U.S. Dollars.
  • 3.78% annual growth expected.

Transition: From Steel To Polyolefins

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.

The Impact Of Standards On Product Safety Labeling

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.


the Truth About Label Standards & Testing

the Truth About Label Standards & Testing

Are Your Labels Truly Permanent?

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.


Non-Polar – Non-porous and chemically inert polyolefin surfaces have no bonding site for adhesives or tie layers to grasp onto for longevity.

“Polyolefins, by their nature, do not lend themself to any method of adhesion. The polyolefin material is non-porous, it is resistant to attack by solvents useful in adhesive formulations, and it has a non-polar chemical structure.”  –  Phil Dodge, Equistar Chemical

Low Surface Energy (LSE)

LSE Polyolefins Create Labeling Problems.

A great example of low vs. high surface energy is a waxed vs. unwaxed car. Before waxing, the cars surface energy is higher than rainwater causing it to easily wet out over the surface. Waxing the car lowers the surface energy below rainwater causing it to bead up and run off freely. Polyolefin plastics have lower surface energy than adhesives causing incompatible labels to delaminate from the surface allowing chemicals, moisture and other elements to attack from underneath.

Surface Energy Dyne Levels

Stainless Steel  = 700-1100
Aluminum  = 840
Glass  = 250-500

LSE Polyethylene =   31
LSE Polypropylene  = 29
PTFE (Teflon)  18


Flexible polyolefin plastics Expand & Contract 18 times more than metal. Subsequently, rigid incompatible label construction loses structural integrity while delaminating from the surface allowing chemicals, moisture and other elements to attack from underneath.


Surfactants, blooming and slip agents compounded into polyolefin plastics cause them to continually outgas. This outgassing creates a barrier between the label and product causing labels to delaminate allowing chemicals, moisture and other elements to attack from underneath.