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Why Are My Squeeze Tube Labels Failing?!!

In many ways, full-squeeze tube labels must perform the same as labels on semi-squeeze and rigid containers. They must withstand exposure to product contents and environmental factors such as moisture, and they must utilize an adhesive appropriate for the container material. Anything you would take into consideration when choosing a label substrate for any other type of container, you would also factor in for a fullsqueeze tube. There are some additional concerns, however, that are unique to full-squeeze tube labels.

Squeeze Tube Pointers

FILM SELECTION

The first thing to remember is that full-squeeze labels must be flexible, so conformability is a must. Polyethylenes tend to be the films of choice, although some polypropylenes are also up to the task. Vinyls can work as well, but due to cost are only chosen if a unique visual characteristic is desired that can’t be achieved any other way.

LABEL DESIGN AND PLACEMENT

Secondly, proper label design is critical. The label artwork should be positioned so that the label will come at least a quarter of an inch around the crimp edge of the tube. Furthermore, the label width should allow for at least a quarter of an inch of overlap. Designing to these guidelines will alleviate stress on the crimp edge of the film to help prevent snapback and lifting.

Of course, the design can only take you so far. When applied, the back side of the label should overlap the crimp edge of the label, rather than the other way around, in order to help hold down the crimp edge. Also, be aware of any labels that are applied off-center or tubes that are not placed properly into the crimper. In either case, the label could end up positioned so that the edge is too close to the crimp edge of the tube. If this occurs, the extra stress on the edge of the label could cause a failure.

CRIMP METHOD

The final consideration is your crimping method. Crimping is the procedure by which a filled and labeled tube is sealed shut. The first method is known as “hot crimping.” This method utilizes tube-sealing jaws that are very hot (350-450°F). The hot jaws squeeze the top of the tube and essentially melt the two sides together. Film substrates cannot withstand the temperature of hot crimping and will lift in the area of the crimp. Consequently, if the hot crimping method will be used, labels must be designed to stop just short of the crimp in order to avoid such failures. The second and most popular tube sealing method is hot-air tube sealing (a/k/a “cold crimping”). With this system, hot air is blown into the open end of the tube. It penetrates the plastic tube wall, heating the material enough to make it pliable. Cold tube-sealing jaws then crimp the softened plastic to weld the open end closed. If your design requires that the labels go through the crimp, you must use this tube sealing method in order to avoid label failure.

Squeeze Tube Labeling

BE THE HERO

Brands are investing lots of money into the creation of primary labels that will catch the shopper’s eye and generate sales. You can become a trusted partner to your clients by offering guidance in the design of artwork and selection of substrates. By following the guidelines above, you can ensure that your beautifully designed full-squeeze labels will result in the pay-off expected, making you the hero and leading to repeat business.

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Contact Jim Joyce for more information or to uncover what's possible for your company.