Shrink-Label Adhesive Allows Package Designers to Stretch Their Imaginations

Packaging companies are relying more and more on dramatic, intriguing packages.
Packaging companies are relying more and more on dramatic, intriguing packages to enhance, differentiate and extend brand equity. Colorful shrink-film sleeve labels are popular with soft drinks and other bottled goods, but the process is expensive. The CONTOUR adhesive system from National Starch and Chemical Co., Bridgewater, N.J., enables processors to create and label unique container shapes while using traditional roll-fed labeling equipment. Because of the system's ability to allow for much more shrinking than has been previously possible, designers can stretch their imaginations to develop attention-grabbing art. Full-wrap labels can be used on curvaceously shaped containers at high speeds and lower cost.

Allows up to a 45% Shrink

The CONTOUR ultraviolet light-curing adhesive system differs from traditional hot melt adhesives because of its higher heat-stress resistance. The system forms a secure bond at the seam that will not "flag" or "creep" during the labeling and shrinking processes. The new system allows for increased line speeds compared with those associated with conventional shrink-sleeve labeling.

Labels applied with the CONTOUR system adhere securely to glass, plastics and aluminum. The system works with plastic films that are more recyclable than typical shrink sleeves. In essence, the adhesive forms a welded bond to allow for shrinking oriented polypropylene (OPP), polyethylene terephthalate glycol, polyvinyl chloride and oriented polystyrene (OPS). The system allows up to a 26% shrink for OPP film labels and up to 45% for OPS.

Significant Cost Savings

Films such as OPP cost less than PVC films, bringing a cost savings of approximately 30% to the packager who switches to the CONTOUR system and lower-cost films. Additional cost savings are realized by eliminating the conversion process of film to sleeves. Experience has shown that a savings of up to 2 cents per container can be achieved with this system. For example, if a packaging company is decorating 500 16-oz containers per minute, then it saves $4,800 per 8-hour day. This amounts to an average annual savings of up to $1.7 million.

There is increasing pressure for corporations to use more environmentally friendly materials, and the CONTOUR system helps eliminate solvents in the container decoration. The system is suitable for Trine, Krones and B&H labeling equipment, allowing for easy retrofitting of existing packaging lines.

For more information on the CONTOUR system, contact National Starch and Chemical Information Center, One Matrix Dr., Monroe, NJ 08831; call 800-797-4992; fax 609-409-5699; or e-mail Or Circle No. 70.

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