Polyfuze Graphics™ Corporation Explains the Problems with IML’s, Hot Stamp Foils, Heat Transfers and Other Decorating Methods

Click a decorating method below to view how it is made and compare them to how a Polyfuze graphic is made differently to outlast and outperform all of those other decorating methods when applied to injection molded plastics.

Problems With IML's, Hot Stamp Foils, Heat Transfers
The only element of an IML that is “compatible” is the synthetic polymer film or paper. When an IML is used on Polyethylene or Polypropylene, it’s the synthetic substrate that bites into the resin. The other components of an IML are non-compatible and will eventually fail leaving behind only the substrate. This means costly failures and replacement label costs.

IML technology / materials:


  • Substrate
    Synthetic polymer film or paper sometimes consisting of PE, PP and/or other fillers.
  • Print & Colorings
    Made from non-compatible inks.
  • Clear Coat
    Made from non-compatible coatings.

= NOT COMPATIBLE with PE or PP

Example of IML technology (degrading over time after subjected to outdoors)

Problems with Foils
Foils are not compatible with Polyethylene or Polypropylene. Even with pre-treatment, the color begins to chalk and fail with normal use and weather.

Scrap rates due to foil use is usually high considering that color is literally being “mashed” into the plastic to get a desired look. Failures in the field mean replacement costs.

FOIL technology / materials:


  • Carrier Material
    Strips away on take-up reel after stamping is completed and not part of the finished product.
  • Print & Colorings
    Made from non-compatible materials.

= NOT COMPATIBLE with PE or PP

Example of IML technology (degrading over time after subjected to outdoors)

Heat Transfer technology degrading 1Heat Transfers are not compatible with polyethylene or polypropylene.  They are hot-melt adhesive based labels that require an adhesive bond that temporarily sticks to the final product.

The problem is, nothing sticks to PE or PP long term even when pre-treating the surface.

HEAT TRANSFER technology / materials:


  • Carrier Material
    Strips away on take-up reel after stamping is completed and not part of the finished product.
  • Clear Coat
    Made from non-compatible coatings.
  • Print & Colorings
    Made from non-compatible inks.
  • Adhesive
    Made from non-compatible hot melt adhesive.

= NOT COMPATIBLE with PE or PP

Example of HEAT TRANSFER technology (degrading after solvent tests)

Sticker technology degrades 1
Stickers just don’t stick to Polyethylene or Polypropylene.  The outgassing of plastic after production can cause bubbling of the sticker.  Therefore, many manufacturers have to wait days or even weeks to apply their decals.  Also, the natural non-stick qualities of PE and PP make stickers useless on products that spend their useful life getting tortured.  The bottom line is, stickers don’t stick longterm.

STICKER technology / materials:


  • Substrate
    Made from vinyl, paper or polymer stock.
  • Print & Colorings
    Made from non-compatible inks.
  • Clear Coat
    Made from non-compatible coatings.
  • Adhesive
    Made from non-compatible pressure sensitive adhesive.

= NOT COMPATIBLE with PE or PP

Example of STICKER technology (degrading over time after subjected to outdoors)

Pad / Screen Printing technology degrades 1
Screen and Pad Printing utilize inks.  Inks do not adhere well to polyethylene or polypropylene.  Even with pre-treatment, the color can fail with normal use and weathering.

PAD / SCREEN PRINTING technology / materials:


  • Substrate
    Finished polyethylene or polypropylene
  • Print & Colorings
    Made from non-compatible materials.

= NOT COMPATIBLE with PE or PP

Example of PAD / SCREEN PRINT technology (degrading after subjected to outdoors)

problems with IML's, hot stamp foils, heat transfers
Polyfuze Graphics™, powered by Polyfuze Graphics™ Corporation, are the world’s only polymer-based branding technology for injection molded plastic that are truly permanent and will outlast an IML, a foil, a heat transfer, a sticker or pad printed label for any injection molded plastic parts.

Make the smart and eco-friendly choice today and try Polyfuze Graphics for your injection molded parts, whether for use in the medical industry, waste management, warning signs, shopping cart industry, lawn & garden industry, dairy crates, bakery trays, or shipping pallet usage, we know that you will be very impressed with the results.

Contact Us Today!