Several months ago, one of our more tongue-in-cheek posts stated, “If your label supplier doesn’t need to know the application temperature, you need a new supplier.” A pretty bold statement to say the least and one that could probably use an explanation.

When it comes to labels, the two key temperature measures are Service Temperature Range (STR) and Minimum Application Temperature (MAT). They are pretty much what they seem. The STR is the temperature range within which a properly applied label functions correctly. For a paper stock, that’s usually -65 ◦ F to +200 ◦ F. That’s a pretty big range so if your label fails it’s more likely due to MAT issues.

The MAT is the lowest temperature at which the label can be applied to a particular substrate and function properly. A standard MAT is around +40 ◦ F, but some go down to -20 ◦ F. The application temperature is important, but what happens right after the label is applied is also vital because labels take about 24 hours to reach optimal adhesion. That means you can’t apply a standard label at +70 ◦ F, throw it immediately in a freezer and expect it to stick. Wait a day, however, and you’re generally good to go.

All of these temperature rules have much less to do with the label stock than they do with the adhesive. You see, adhesives are liquid and in order to work properly, they need to remain elastic so they can flow. The simple explanation is that when it’s too cold the adhesive becomes brittle and doesn’t adhere…unless you’re using the proper adhesive.

And that’s where your label supplier comes in.

The experts at Curtis 1000 will make sure your labels perform impeccably under any condition. When you’re ready to “uncomplicate” your label needs, call us at 877-287- 8715 or fill out the “How Can We Help You” form on our website.