Common types and characteristics of plastic label substrates

Compared with paper label substrates, plastic label substrates have higher gloss, smoother surface, excellent water (wet) resistance and excellent dimensional stability in humid environments. The application of plastic label substrates has become increasingly widespread in recent years.

Polyethylene film (PE)

PE film has a certain similarity with PVC film in its physical and mechanical properties, and is widely used in the packaging field because of its excellent dimensional stability. Through the common industrial corona treatment, the surface of the PE film can be printed and glued. As needed, the corona effect can last for at least 6 months (corona level greater than 38mNm). The PE film can be corona treated again (corona refresh) before printing.

PE film can be used in different application areas by adjusting its thickness. For example, 150 micron film is used in chemical and industrial products; 80-100 micron film is used in shampoo bottles, cosmetic bottles and daily necessities. PE film is a polyolefin carbohydrate polymer, and its chemical composition determines the environmental compatibility and high recyclability of PE film.

Polypropylene film (PP)

Uniaxially stretched and biaxially stretched polypropylene cast films can be linked to their excellent mechanical processing performance, good surface visual effects and relatively thin film thickness. Compared with PE film, the disadvantage is that the corona treatment effect of PP film is relatively short (at 38mNm corona level, usually 1 to 1.5 months after the corona treatment printability).

Similar to PE film, PP film can also be applied to different application areas by adjusting its thickness. For example, 60 micron PP film can be used for hard, highly transparent bottles: shampoo, cosmetics, food, cleaning liquids, etc .; 50 micron can be used for packaging carriers with a "non-label" feel for beverages, nutrition, pharmaceuticals, etc .; Micron PP film can be used on brochure labels and packaging carriers with a "no label" feel for beverages, cosmetics, and hygiene products.

PP films are also polyolefin carbohydrate polymers, and their chemical composition determines the environmental compatibility and high recyclability of PP films.

Polystyrene film (PS)

The chemical structure of PS determines its excellent punchability and excellent dimensional stability at room temperature. But its resistance (barrier) oil (fat) is poor. PS is not a polyolefin. Its environmental compatibility and recyclability are relatively inferior to polyolefin polymers.

Polyester film (PET)

Polyester film is an ultra-transparent film and has excellent dimensional stability. Its excellent visual performance and relatively thin thickness make it an excellent choice for "label-free" label applications.

The 12-micron PET film can be used as a surface composite material. The high-quality appearance and its protective function are simultaneously reflected on this material. The 50 micron PET label film can be used on packaging that is sensitive to water, grease and chemicals.

Although PET is not a polyolefin, it can be effectively recovered and pelletized after washing and shredding and made into fibers, films and PET bottles.

Polyvinyl chloride film (PVC)

The main characteristics of PVC film are the diversity in color, thickness and hardness. Current PVC raw materials do not contain heavy metals, but softeners are still used. The chemical structure of PVC determines that this material is suitable for outdoor use (2 to 7 years of outdoor use validity). Because PVC films contain chloride, their environmental compatibility and recyclability have long been controversial.

Among plastic labels, polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) films have become the most widely used plastic label substrates due to their relatively wide processing temperature range (to 260 ° C) and excellent mechanical and rheological properties .

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