While most of your customers know exactly what they’re looking for in terms of what their label needs to say, they might not know which material is best for their needs.
The surface a label is applied to, and the environment will significantly affect which material will work best and last. If your customer purchases the wrong material, the message could fade from sun exposure or repeat washings. At that point, the label becomes useless, and your customer feels frustrated.
This is where you—their trusted advisor—come in.
Use this quick material guide below to help your customers find the label material
that best fits their application.
The most rigid materials for harsh environments
These materials can endure any workplace conditions, whether it’s chemical exposure, extended UV exposure, a high-heat environment, or a workplace where collisions occur. No matter what happens, the safety message printed on these materials remains readable.
- High-performance: High-Performance material is ideal for equipment, machinery, and tools repeatedly handled and exposed to abusive and harsh conditions. This material can withstand long-term outdoor exposure and is resistant to solvents, acids, and alkalis. The glossy surface can also be easily wiped clean of dust, dirt, and grease and even resists graffiti.
- Poly Premium: Polycarbonate labels are subsurface printed to withstand harsh environments and protect the safety message. It maintains its integrity after abrasions and impacts and is ideal for long-term use on machinery, equipment, and tools.
- Vinyl: The transparent protective top layer of vinyl labels is moisture- and tear-resistant and can withstand dirt, grease, chemical splash, scuffs, abrasions, fading, and most weather conditions.
The best materials for low-light and nighttime visibility
If your customer operates at night or works in low-light environments, they need safety labels made of a material that can be read even after the sunsets.
- Reflective: These labels have ‘bounce back’ reflectivity from any light source for improved daytime to low-light and nighttime visibility. It’s also resistant to chemicals and abrasions and has a gloss surface that wipes clean dirt, dust, and grease.
Economical options for short-term use and labels that need to be moved
If the label is only needed for a week, there’s no point in investing in material with unique features intended for harsh environments. Likewise, if your customer knows they’re going to move the label around, choose a material that can be reused rather than buying multiple adhesive labels for the same use case.
- Magnetic: These labels mount to most steel or ferrous metal surfaces. Easily lift, move, and replace labels without worrying about picking off the adhesive. Magnetic labels are resistant to chipping and cracking and are ideal for inventory, storage, and equipment identification purposes.
- Removable Vinyl: The self-adhesive back vinyl label can be removed, repositioned, or moved multiple times on a smooth, clean surface. This material is ideal for general-duty indoor, temporary applications, and curved surfaces.
- Paper: Paper labels are economical for short-term, temporary, and dry indoor applications. Paper labels are cost-effective in high quantities and have a matte surface that can easily be written on with a pen or pencil. Paper labels are not recommended for areas exposed to moisture.
Flexible materials for irregular surfaces
Very often, labels are applied to surfaces that aren’t flat. Whether it’s a pipe, hard hat, or equipment with a curved surface, these flexible materials can be used without resulting in a warped message.
- Convex-Curve Vinyl: Formulated to contour to irregular surfaces without wrinkles and puckers, this material is ideal for a hard hat or helmet labels. The glossy surface easily wipes clean and has a protective UV coating, making it durable for outdoor exposure. Poly, Removeable Vinyl, and Magnetic Vinyl are also great for curved or irregular surfaces.
Materials that stay put in wet conditions
If your customers are working in wet or high-moisture environments or their equipment is subject to frequent washdowns, these materials are best for their labels.
- Poly: Thin yet strong, poly labels are tear-resistant for most general duty, multi-purpose labeling. This flexible material can be applied to curved surfaces and won’t wrinkle or shrink when moist. The glossy surface can be easily wiped clean of dust, dirt, and other liquids, making this material great for limited outdoor exposure.
- Convex-Curve Vinyl, Reflective, High-performance, and Vinyl are also ideal for wet conditions.
Labels that will grab their attention indoors
While every safety message is essential, some need to catch workers’ attention when they’re moving, at a distance, or unaware hazards are present. Fluorescent signs are perfect for making a message pop.
- Fluorescent: Bright fluorescent labels catch workers’ attention with their visible color, and bold, contrasting print makes them comfortable and quick to read. The clear overlaminate permanently covers the printed image and adds protection from abrasions and light chemical splashes. Fluorescent labels are best for indoor use.
You can customize the material of any Accuform label with our Personalize It! services. Accuform is the leader in label customization and can meet all your custom identification needs. Many of our custom product
requests can be shipped in less than 72 hours, and there are no minimum order requirements or set-up fees.
Not only can you customize the label material for your customers, but you can customize the shape, size, colors, text, and orientation. Your customers can even add their logo to all labels to enhance the safety culture and keep their team well-informed. Our design experts will personalize your label in any way and offer your client unlimited design options.
As your supplier of choice, we want to make sure you can meet your customers’ every need. Learn more about selecting the right label material by downloading our FREE custom label resource