Why Decorating Problems Exist for Plastics

When Permanent Really Means Permanent.

Polyfuze, the new heat fused graphic for polyethylene, polypropylene and other olefin resins.

– by Jason Brownell, Polyfuze Graphics™ Corporation, Clarkdale, AZ

Abstract

The intent of this paper is to demonstrate the truly permanent nature of a new patent protected heat fusion process for the transfer of graphics to polyethylene, polypropylene and other olefin products. As stated in Wikipedia, “Heat fusion (sometimes called heat welding or simply fusion) is a welding process used to join two different pieces of a thermoplastic. This process involves heating both pieces simultaneously and pressing them together. The two pieces then cool together and form a permanent bond. When done properly, the two pieces become indistinguishable from each other. Dissimilar plastics can result in improper bonding.”

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This paper will:

  1. Explain the difference between this heat fused graphic, known as Polyfuze, and other labeling processes such as In-Mold Labels (IML), Hot Stamp (Foil), Screen/Pad Printing and adhesive backed stickers.
  2. Define the environmental significance of each of these decorating methods vs. heat fused graphics.

Why Decorating Problems Exist for Plastics

For the past 80 years there have been only a handful of ways developed to decorate polyethylene, polypropylene and other olefin resins, most being modified versions intended to decorate other plastics. The most common means of decorating are IML’s, hot stamp foils, heat transfers,screen/pad printing or stickers. The problem with all of these decorating methods is they can eventually fail when exposed to outdoor elements, daily uses and physical removal.

View Why These Problems Exist Here

Another issue with alternative decorating methods is scrap produced during the decorating process.  Scrap rates from 4% to as high as 20% have been reported industry wide, which leaves in its wake a sustainability problem for companies.  Labor and reprocessing fees increase overall product costs, while label and product waste take away from the bottom line.

Original text is featured with the Society of Plastics Engineers : ANTEC® 2015 – Proceedings of the Technical Conference, Orlando, Florida, USA, March 23-25, 2015. [Online]