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How Plastic Containers And Surface Energy Can Impact Labelling Machines

Labelling machines are essential to many manufacturing processes, particularly in industries where products need to be labelled correctly and efficiently. When it comes to labelling plastic containers, however, a new challenge emerges: the surface energy of the container can significantly impact the performance of the labelling machine.

What Is The Surface Energy Of Plastic Containers?

Surface energy is a measure of the attractive forces that exist between the surface of a material and a liquid or solid. High surface energy materials, like glass or metal, have strong attractive forces, while low surface energy materials, like polypropylene or polyethylene, have weaker forces.

Plastic containers often have low surface energy, which can cause difficulties during the labelling machinery process. For example, if the surface energy of the container is too low, the adhesive on the label may not be able to form a strong bond with the container, causing the label to lift or fall off.

How To Label Plastic Containers With Low Surface Energy

One solution to this problem is to use a high-performance adhesive that can form a strong bond even on low surface energy materials. Some manufacturers use acrylic adhesives that can provide excellent adhesion even on plastic containers with low surface energy.

Another solution is to increase the surface energy of the plastic container by treating it with a corona discharge, flame treatment, or plasma treatment. These treatments alter the surface of the plastic container and create a higher surface energy, which improves the adhesion of the label.

Labelling Machinery And Plastic Surface Energy

Labelling machines must also be configured correctly to account for the low surface energy of plastic containers. One important factor is the pressure applied by the label applicator. Too much pressure can damage the container or cause it to deform, while too little pressure can result in poor label adhesion. An experienced labelling machine provider can help ensure that the right pressure is applied to the container.

The type of labelling machine used is also important. Some labelling machines are designed specifically for use with low surface energy containers, and these machines often feature specialised applicators and adhesives that are optimized for this type of application. By using a labelling machine that is specifically designed for plastic containers with low surface energy, manufacturers can ensure that the labels will adhere correctly, even under demanding conditions.

Labelling machines are complex pieces of equipment, and it’s important to choose a reputable provider that has experience working with plastic containers with low surface energy. At Atwell Labellers we provide a range of labelling machines that are designed for use with a wide variety of container shapes and sizes, including those with low surface energy. Our machines are equipped with advanced features, such as automatic label sensing and alignment, that can help ensure accurate and consistent labelling.

Ultimately, the surface energy of plastic containers can have a significant impact on the performance of labelling machines. To ensure that labels adhere correctly, manufacturers must choose the right adhesive, apply the correct pressure, and use a labelling machine that is optimized for use with plastic containers with low surface energy. Our contract labelling service is also a great option for complex labelling processes, as our specialists can handle all aspects of product labelling on your behalf.