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Release Liners: Choose Yours Wisely

What is the value of something that is discarded the instant its used? In the case of release liners, while the actual cost is on the low end, its impact on a final project can be pretty high.

Well selected release liners perform as expected, and thus go unnoticed, because of the extreme care and chemical expertise applied to custom adhesive solutions by Ameri-Cal.

When a release liner doesn’t perform according to specifications, it can gum up production lines, increase costs and inventory, disrupt the supply chain and negatively impact quality and service. Selecting the right release liner for a given application requires:

  • an in-depth knowledge of the chemical interactions between the adhesive and liner
  • the substrate to which the pressure sensitive label will be applied
  • the environmental conditions it will experience and
  • the anticipated lifespan required  

A release liner is a paper or plastic-film sheet usually coated with silicone that covers a sticky surface or pressure sensitive adhesive, to prevent it from sticking until it is applied to its intended surface. Silicone release paper is naturally water-resistant and anti-microbial.

Not every liner will work with every adhesive or in varying manufacturing environments.  Adhesive chemistry has to be considered along with the coating process for the tape or label stock. The successful conversion of a pressure sensitive label depends on the release liner remaining independent of, or not changing the chemical nature of the underlying adhesive.

Just a few of the industries that rely on release liners include:

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive and heavy equipment manufacturing
  • Building and construction industries
  • Graphics of all kinds, such as signage, POS advertising, safety labels, instructions, warnings 
  • Health and beauty products
  • Medical and hygiene markets
  • Military
  • Optical
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Renewable energy
  • Security
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation

Substrate surface makes a huge difference in the adhesive and liner combinations. The variety of surfaces that might require a custom combination of adhesive with release liner can include plastic, glass, metal, vinyl, PVA, polystyrene and polyethylene. The latter surfaces will most often require a custom adhesive solution along with the proper release liner for the best performance.

Manufacturing conditions such as temperature, humidity and the overall environment the label is expected to withstand during its lifespan, all impact the adhesive/release liner combination. Ameri-Cal can and has provided solutions for customers with extreme temperature situations ranging from cryogenic conditions as low as -90C to humid environments and high heat up to 350F.

Downstream converting operations such as sheeting, roll dispensing, slitting or die cutting can place stresses on release liners. These factors impact release liner selection if it must withstand these additional processes prior to its shipping and final application.

The best release liner is one that’s easy to forget because of flawless performance. Trust Ameri-Cal with the right adhesion solutions and release liners for your pressure sensitive labels.

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