Of all the responsibilities industrial powersports designers and engineers face when assessing LSE polyolefin thermoplastic parts and components for use in powersports today, safety and warning labeling cannot be overlooked. Why? The bottom line is this: If customer safety matters… Polyfuze labeling technology labels matters.
In 1986 when the movie Ferris Bueller was released, total global plastic production was approximately 80 million tons. Today, it exceeds 350 million tons and low surface energy (LSE) polyolefin thermoplastics comprise more than 55% of that total making them the most utilized, labeled & recycled plastics in the world today.
Powersports designers and engineers since the 90’s have realized the numerous benefits of using durable low surface energy (LSE) polyolefin plastics in the manufacture of parts and components for ATV’s, UTV’s, Motorcycles, Personal Watercraft, Snow Mobiles, Kayaks, Small Boats and more.
Their durability is key to these types of vehicles being able to survive the 10+ years expected.
For example, in 2014 Sea-Doo® made a monumental shift in how they manufactured watercraft! Industrial Designers & Engineers began using a lower cost and more durable LSE polyolefin thermoplastic called Polytec™.
As BRP Inc. states, “Polytec is a recyclable, low density and high-impact composite material that includes polypropylene and long glass fiber reinforcements.”
By 2015, Sea-Doo’s sales of the SPARK watercraft had grown by 35% due to it being more affordable, durable, lighter & environmentally resistant than any other comparable craft on the market.
10 years is a lot of time. Expecting Powersports vehicles to last 10 years in differing harsh environments sounds nuts. 10 years is exactly 87,600 hours. Think of a large percentage of that time having to endure 120°F+ summer heat, -80°F freezing in the frigid north, dirt, rain, snow, gasoline, oil, abrasion, salt water and more and you begin to understand what 87,600 hours of harsh environmental resistance needs to look like.
You ever heard the phrase “every negative has a positive?” For LSE polyolefin thermoplastics, it’s more like “every positive has a negative.” Of all the positive durable traits LSE polyolefins provide designers and engineers, the one negative is trying to permanently label them with branding or safety/warning information.
As a low surface energy, expanding, contracting and gassing thermoplastic, trying to source adhesive based solutions, costly pre-treatments or other special bonding methods is simply impossible because just like Teflon®, nothing sticks to LSE polyolefin thermoplastics.
While doing a search for “permanent labeling” brings up pages of adhesives and labels that claim to work on low surface energy plastics, the truth is, those labels were never designed or engineered for use on LSE polyolefin thermoplastics in the first place. One prominent adhesives manufacturer boldly claims in sales literature that they have innovative adhesive technology that is “solving the low surface energy labeling challenge.” What you may not know is that the data sheet on that very adhesive shows no data of adhesive based labels ever being durability tested on actual LSE polyolefin thermoplastic panels! Instead, per outdated labeling standards, they’re applied to a very accepting high surface energy stainless steel, aluminum or glass for chemical and environmental testing.
High surface energy substrates like stainless steel, aluminum and glass attract adhesion while low surface energy polyolefins reject it. Period!
The failures to come aren’t at the point of label application when manufacturers and OEM’s are doing final assembly on LSE polyolefin parts and components, they begin when those parts and components endure environmental & chemical exposures in the real world under real conditions. The result is that designers and engineers bear the responsibility of missing brand logos and names or worse, the vital safety/warning information helping keep consumers safe while protecting OEM’s from litigious risk.
How permanent are Polyfuze labels? They’re permanent AF! They’re the only “all-fusion” based solution that’s been specifically engineered to permanently meld brand names, logos, and safety/warning information into LSE polyolefin plastics until their end of life. A bold claim backed by the Polyfuze Lifetime Guarantee.
As for sustainability, when powersports vehicles end of life comes after 10+ years and it’s time to recycle, there’s no labels to remove that become waste on the ground or landfill because Polyfuze labels are 100% recyclable with the LSE polyolefin thermoplastic parts and components they’re seamlessly fused to.
Looks as though Polyfuze “solved the low surface energy labeling challenge” after all!
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