When you’re printing new barcode labels, there’s a lot to consider. For many businesses,the most important aspects to picking a label will be the appropriate adhesive properties needed for the job, and the adjoining face stock–the part that the barcode is printed on. But with so many options of face stocks to consider, which one is the best? Paying attention to the type of face stock your label has can mean a lot in terms of your label’s longevity, design, and more.
The five main types of face stocks include paper, polyester, polypropylene, vinyl, and polyimide, and they each have different advantages and cost-points. Here’s a quick guide to each one’s features:
Paper: The most common and cheapest type of face stock, it’s used for many, simple indoor applications. Paper barcode face stocks are most commonly used for temporary use in typical environments–such as a barcode on a piece of fruit, or as temporary shelving labels. They’re easy to remove, but are durable enough to be read by a scanner when the product is moving out of inventory. You can increase the durability of a paper face stock with a top coat laminate.
Polyester: Usually thermal transfer receptive, polyester face stocks are high-quality substrates with high UV, temperature, and chemical resistance. It is an expensive face stock, because of its strong durability and proofing properties. It’s good for product ID, and a typical polyester label is commonly used for labeling automobile parts.
Polypropylene: These labels offer more durability than a paper face stock, but rate middle-of-the-road in terms of their UV, chemical, and temperature resistance. Poypropylene labels are well suited for inventory or labeling in cold environments, such as frozen items, or for outdoor shelving.
Vinyl: Typically used to create bumper stickers, vinyl labels are useful for labeling in warehouses, or products that get high traffic travel in changing conditions and weathers. They are typically less expensive than polyester face stocks, and offer high conformability.
Polyimide: Like polyester, polyimide face stocks have high chemical, temperature, and UV resistance, but are especially engineered for application on electronic surfaces and circuit boards, where the labels must be able to withstand long-term, high temperature environments.
The Right Label Face Stock for Your Barcodes
This quick run-down of each substrate can help you better choose the right barcode labels for your business, and understanding how each one helps in maintaining your barcode’s integrity over time. For more questions or help choosing the appropriate barcode label for your needs, contact us.