Humidity and label problems are the top issues companies in Houston, TX are having. There is no quick fix to the humidity, so you need to spend time testing several types of label material. Also, when printing labels, it is extremely important to be aware of the environment—both indoor and outdoor.
Hot Weather and The Effects on Labels
Adhesives get softer and gooier with increases in temperature. Label adhesives designed for cold temperature applications can be problematic as they are not formulated for use in warmer and more humid conditions. Therefore, adhesives designed for sticking to difficult surfaces in hot humid environments (Houston, Texas) should be tested before use. Keeping records about your humidity and label problems will help eliminate future downtime.
In a humid environment, paper label liners tend to absorb more moisture, causing curl which may result in feeding problems with barcode label printing. This is why recommended storage conditions are on the product label specifications (speak with your friendly label provider). Plastic storage bags are recommended to control the effects of the Houston, Texas humidity. Depending on the environment, we recommend keeping labels protected in the storage bags—ideally in air-conditioned areas.
Temperatures in shipping containers can easily be 20°F higher than outside temperatures and you typically see readings as high as 120°F-140°F with relative humidity reaching 85%-90%. When receiving barcode labels, let them get acclimated to your facility before use and keep them stored per the recommended guidelines.
Cold Weather and The Effects on Labels
Texas winters can have record-breaking low temperatures. Freezing weather conditions from Dallas and Houston to Austin and San Antonio can impact the performance of barcode labels. It is important to choose the correct label material (paper or polypropylene) and adhesive to match weather conditions and your label applications. Storage of barcode labels is also important in cold humid environments. It is recommended to store labels at room temperature (∼70°F) at least 24 hours before using.
Barcode labels that have been in transit need to be acclimated to your environment. The adhesive in hot humid weather can be soft and gooey resulting in improper dispensing. Conversely, some adhesives in cold humid weather will be hard and less tacky resulting in problems with sticking to surfaces. Let labels warm to room temperature for a period of twenty-four hours before trying to use them. However, we don’t suggest keeping them in an overheated space because the adhesive can break down.
As with hot weather, humidity changes in cold weather can cause barcode labels to lose moisture and liners to shrink and curl. Storing your labels in a temperature-controlled environment will help with label dispensing and overall performance (sticking).
Storage Temperatures vs. Application and Services Temperatures
“Storage temperature” is not the same as “application and service temperatures.” The standard storage recommendation is around 72°F with 50% relative humidity.
Therefore, application and service temperatures are also important. It is wise to pay attention to the minimum application temperature when applying barcode labels to a surface. You should consider the service temperature range. Generally, all-purpose adhesive is rated for application at +40°F and has a service range of -40°F to 180°F but can vary depending on the label material type and adhesive. Following these suggestions will help eliminate Houston’s continuous humidity and label problems.
The Environment: Humidity and Label Problems
Surface temperature is crucial because cold surfaces, such as metal or plastic may not accept certain label adhesives. The label will pucker and wrinkle when it is put on an empty plastic container designed to be left outdoors in winter conditions.
If you are having humidity and label problems in Houston, Texas, don’t hesitate to contact Barcode Southwest at 888-764-9965 or fill out this contact form!
We are a premier supplier of barcode printers and labels for a wide range of industry applications. We supply to clients all over the Southwest region of the U.S., including but not limited to Houston, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio.
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Posted 10/08/2018 By Lucy