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Holy Grail

For a long time, I’ve been searching for the holy grail of on-demand color label printing; and I think I’ve found it. Not the famed cup; rather alcohol resistant gloss label media.

And I use the word “media” as it’s more than a gloss synthetic, rather others as well. Let me tell you what I’ve found.

First, water and alcohol resistant Gloss Poly.

C7500G Alcohol-Resistant Gloss Poly

I received this week, a few 8.5” x 11” samples of a new gloss poly label which should become available next month. I printed not only the samples using the C7500G (see above-I thought they printed great), but also tested them in water.

Water Resistant Gloss Poly

After running them in water, I tried to rub off the ink; and found no smudging. Currently, we have splash resistant gloss poly; but not bullet-proof water-resistant gloss poly. This material seemed to perform better.

In addition, I poured 50% IPA on the gloss poly; and found none of the ink came off:

Gloss Poly with IPA/Alcohol

These results are exciting to me. After testing probably 50 to 100 different gloss poly materials, I think I found a material that is actually resistant to alcohol. I’m sure that if you rubbed the material sufficiently hard, you may get different results. But this version of the material appears much more resistant to alcohol.

This new gloss poly should work well in applications such as medical devices and GHS where alcohol resistance is required. In addition, the material should work well in applications with liquids where more durable water resistance is required. This new label should help many different companies.

In addition to the gloss white synthetic labels, I tested a new clear film label:

C7500G Printed Clear Film

I thought this new material printed great! In addition, this material seemed water proof as the ink did not smudge after soaking for some time:

Water-Resistant Clear Film

And this material was resistant to 50% IPA as well:

Alcohol-Resistant Clear Film

The alcohol made the material curl, but the ink would not come off with easy rubbing. Again, I can imagine that this material would not resist all attempts to remove the ink; but the initial tests are very encouraging.

This new clear film would seem to fit applications where a more durable clear film is required; beverages, devices and even some chemicals.

Finally, I tested an inkjet coated silver which is another material we searched for over the years. We did sell some silver, but it was expensive and the ink came off easily in water and alcohol.

Not only did this silver film print great,

Inkjet Coated Silver Film

But the material was water resistant:

Water-Resistant Silver Film

And 50% IPA resistant as well:

IPA Resistant Silver Film

As my IPA tests do not follow a specific protocol (I basically poured IPA on them and rubbed), you may see different results. But I’m encouraged by what results I did achieve.
Silver film should fit higher value markets: such as cannabis and cosmetics. It’s a great new material to utilize.

As background, I printed each of these labels using a C7500G given all three of these materials had a glossy finish. C3500 and other pigment color label printers may have slightly different findings. Once I get more materials, I’ll test them using dye-based inks as well.

Based on my discussions with the manufacturers, these new materials should be available next month. I hope to start selling them shortly.

One potential watchout: I don’t have pricing as yet. As with all new products, these labels could be expensive. So we’ll need to compare how our existing gloss, film and silver labels compare both in terms of performance and cost for each of our customers.

I think these results are a big deal. It’s not the holy grail, but something we’ve been searching for a long time. If you want durable gloss poly, clear film or silver film, contact us to discuss how these new labels fit into your operation.

Posted at 3:53 PM
Guy Mikel

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