Labels that Work on Cold Surfaces
Labels are used in most facilities to alert people to hazards and provide them with important information they need for their jobs. In most cases a facility can simply print off labels and stick them where they need to go without a problem. In some environments, however, that won’t work.
One of the most difficult environments to properly label is areas that are extremely cold. Whether this is inside a freezer or outside during the cold winter months, you need to make sure your labels will properly stick, even when exposed to sub-zero temperatures.
Why Cold is hard on Labels
Many people don’t even realize that very cold temperatures, especially when it is outside, can make labels wear out much more quickly. There are a number of factors that cause this to happen. First, the cold weather will freeze the adhesive, causing it to harden. If it heats up, it will soften as it unfreezes. As the adhesive continues to change state, it will become less sticky.
Another thing that causes problems is that the surfaces that it will be sticking to can become quite slick when they are cold. This can make it more difficult for the labels to stick to them.
Finally, when you are using labels outside, they will frequently get wet from rain, humidity and other things. If that moisture gets behind the label and onto the adhesive it can make it less effective. To make matters worse, when that moisture freezes it will expand, causing it to push the label out and away from the surface it is supposed to be sticking to.
While this will happen only a tiny bit at a time, that is how many labels slowly come off. It begins at the corners, where the moisture has easiest access to, and will then slowly spread to the rest of the label.
Cold Label Locations
Many people mistakenly think that they don’t need cold weather labeling at first, but when you really take some time to think about it, you’ll likely realize that there are many areas in and around your facility that could benefit from labeling that will stick, even in very cold weather. The following are some examples of these locations:
- Labeling Vehicles – Many vehicles, such as hi-lows and fork lifts will frequently go inside and outside. When they are outdoors, they can get very cold, so they will need proper labeling.
- Tools & Equipment – Similar to the vehicles, many tools, and some equipment will be used both inside and outside. If it needs to be labeled, you should always use a label that won’t have trouble with the cold.
- Refrigerant Pipes – Pipes that carry refrigerant to freezers, cooling devices in machinery and other locations can get extremely cold. They should be labeled alerting people to their temperature as well as their contents.
- Freezer Doors – Labeling the inside of a freezer door to alert people to the temperature as well as any risk of getting locked in. Since the freezer can get quite cold, you’ll need specialized labels.
- Outdoor Labels – Facilities use labels outside all the time. Whether to label driving areas or outside piping or outdoor machinery, you’ll need to take into account the fact that it gets extremely cold in the winter.
There are many other places that you’ll come up with for your facility that are either cold all the time, or that get cold during specific times of the year.
Choosing the Right Labels
Whenever you are applying labels in an area that will be exposed to cold temperatures, you need to make sure you are using the right type of labeling. Normal labels use adhesive that will become brittle and ineffective when it is exposed to very cold temperatures.
LabelTac Cold Storage Label stock is an excellent option for any cold area. It is made of the same high quality materials as their other labels, but the adhesive is made specifically to last in extreme temperatures. You will enjoy the following key features of this type of labeling stock:
- Application Temperature – You can apply these labels to surfaces that are as much as ten degrees below zero without a problem.
- Minimum Serviceable Temperature – Once the labels are in place, they will stick without a problem, even when the temperature drops to forty degrees below zero.
- Temperature Fluctuations – The labels also work with temperatures as high as 200 degrees, meaning these labels work well in an extremely wide range of temperatures.
In addition to being great in almost any temperature, this type of stock is also designed to work in either the LabelTac 4 of the LabelTac 4 Pro label printers. These printers will create easy to read labels that can last for years without a problem.
The printers use waterproof ink, and can be used for making text or images to convey the necessary information to the people who are working with or around the labeling. No matter what type of facility you’re working in, you’ll be able to find many different reasons to use this type of tape.
Many facilities even choose to use this type of stock for all their labels, regardless of the temperature where they will be used. This makes it so people printing labels don’t need to worry about changing the stock. Since even the low temperature labels are easy to use and affordable, this just makes it easier for many facilities.
How to Apply Cold Temperature Labels
Installing labels to cold surfaces isn’t much different than working with any other surface. The first thing you want to do is make sure it is as dry as possible. This includes removing any ice or frost that may have accumulated on the surface where you want the label.
Once you’ve got a clear, dry surface, you can just stick the label right on like normal. Make sure it goes on evenly and that you apply pressure to it to get it to bond properly.
Another thing that you’ll need to be concerned with is touching the surface with your hands. If it is really cold, you could get frost bite on your fingers, even if you’re only touching it for a few moments. While it may be difficult to handle the labels with gloves on, you will want to make sure you are taking precautions to keep your hands safe.
If necessary, you can gently put the label in place with your bare hands, and then put gloves on before pressing it down. This will help to ensure you don’t run into any problems.
Following Facility Labeling Standards
One thing you should keep in mind when printing off high quality cold temperature labels is that you want to follow the same standards as you would for other types of labels. Just because something is used outside and in cold areas doesn’t mean you can break from the normal way of doing things throughout the rest of the facility.
Of course, you will often want to include extra information on the labels, such as how cold a pipe may be, or the average temperature of the area that it is in. The bottom line when creating the labels is that you want them to be easy to read and understand, and they should also convey as much useful information as possible.
Switch to Cold Labels Today
If you can think of even one place in your facility that could benefit from the long lasting labels that will work in the cold, you should order a roll of this great labeling stock right away. By having it available in your facility, you will always be prepared to place a good safety label anywhere that it needs to be.
In addition, you won’t need to worry about the label peeling or coming right off when the temperatures drop. This is an important benefit that your facility should take advantage of as soon as possible.
- Labels that Last: Pipe Labels Exposed to Extreme Weather
- Labels that Last when put on Oily Surfaces
- Printing Multi-Color Labels and Signs
- What is PPE? 10 Ways to Protect Workers
- Barcodes & Labeling
- Types of Rack Labels
- LabelTac Software
- Arc Flash Hazards
- Your Guide to Proper Pipe Marking– creativesafetysupply.com
- Labels that Last when Attached to Hot Surfaces– blog.creativesafetysupply.com
- Cold Stress – Learn to Prevent and Treat It– realsafety.org
- Where to Place Pipe Marking Labels– warehousepipemarking.com
- What You Can do With LabelTac Supplies– babelplex.com
- Visual Safety: Creating Signs & Labels– iecieeechallenge.org
- Pipe Labels – In house vs pre-made– safetyblognews.com
- Print Your Own 5S, Pipe Marking and Safety Labels– blog.5stoday.com