Achieving Bubble-Free Labels

SPENCER, MA | FLEXcon customers, including OEM manufacturers and converters involved in the outdoor power equipment market, know how important it is for brand labels to convey to the consumer the identification of the product, safety issues, and instructions ( But the labels also must communicate quality. Labels that retain their readability, adhesion, and color quality for the life of the outdoor product also reinforce image durability and avoid sending a negative message.

Take, for example, the case of converters supplying labels for walk-behind mowers, lawn tractors, snow blowers, and tillers. Thinner-gauge, flexible, white vinyl labels developed an unsightly appearance by bubbling. Even an alternative polycarbonate film didn’t yield an appealing appearance nor were they priced attractively.

After observation, the Product Identification Team at FLEXcon discovered the bubble formation problem was likely due to a label application process or a product performance issue. Findings revealed the larger the label and the greater the application surface, the more likely air would become trapped and form bubbles.

The solution to the annoying problem came in the development of a new product called DPM Aply 1000, a VBS Supreme product that uses a robust film and premium adhesive for bubble-free label graphics in narrow-web label applications. The product, according to FLEXcon converter customers, is easy to apply due to the rigidity of the film and its ability to be reworked, is highly durable, and is more cost-effective than alternative products. New DPM Aply film, with pending recognition from UL and CUL, is conformable, making it ideal for both flat and semi-compound-curved surfaces. A recommended crack-and-peel release liner with a center-out application method helps standardize the process and minimize the margin of workforce error.

The durable adhesive is said to bond well to low and high surface energy plastics, painted metal, powder-coated paint, polycarbonate, and fiberglass. A layflat moisture-stable release liner backs the face stock and is considered ideal for sheet-form converting.

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