What are Pressure Sensitive Labels? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Also commonly known as self-adhesive stickers, pressure sensitive labels are the product identifiers that are applied by a label print machine. This versatile, flexible and durable label is widely used on a vast array of different types of containers and brand packaging materials, and across an extensive range of industries.

Label Components

Pressure sensitive labels are made up of several layers of materials that each have unique characteristics. When combined together, the specialised materials create a functional and durable label that identifies your product.

A pressure sensitive label comprises of three sandwiched layers:

  • Face stock

Pressure sensitive label face stock materials include: paper, plastic films, fabrics, foils and laminates.

  • Adhesive

The adhesive is the sticky stuff that attaches the label to the surface of the product container and/or its packaging. The type of adhesive required depends on the application and the environment in which the label is to be used.

Label types include: glue-applied (cut & stack), acrylic-based, easy release, resealable and permanent. There are also adhesives that ensure a durable stick under harsh cold and wet conditions. Rubber-based adhesive is recommended for long-life applications.

The advances in adhesive and face stock combinations mean that a more sustainable pressure sensitive label option may also be available for eco-conscious brands.

  • Release liner

The backing web material of a label is typically made of paper or film. Semi-bleached paper and craft paper may also be used. Typical release liner performance and quality characteristics include strength, density, smoothness, level of release, and overall stability.

The release liner is designed to support the paper or film label through the manufacturing process and subsequent product use. It protects the adhesive until the label is applied by automatic or manual means.

The release coat is applied to the top surface of the liner, allowing it to resist the adhesive so that the face stock and adhesive can peel away smoothly.

A topcoat or laminate may also be applied to the sandwiched layers to protect the artwork, or to enhance the label’s design.

Pressure sensitive labels offer the right face stock/adhesive combination for all of your labelling needs. A label print machine can incorporate your brand identity onto a material that can be printed, laminated, flatbed, rotary, semi-rotary, or laser die cut, or peeled off for attachment to your product and/or packaging.

Label Print Machine Application

When light or moderate pressure is applied by a label applicator, a pressure sensitive label that sticks to a surface is created. Pressure-sensitive labels offer flexible application options. The labels can be applied to the front and back of clear plastic or glass containers, and to a variety of different packaging materials and shapes.

A label print machine simplifies the process of your production line. The print and apply systems streamline label production with precision and speed, helping your business to fulfil key functions, like product tracking, quality assurance and compliance. Collective functionality is also possible, through complete system integration.