Wet Labeling Application

Wet labeling application is exactly what it sounds like – the process of adhering pressure-sensitive labels (“stickers”) to wet surfaces.  If your product is subjected to wet surfaces and condensation, your label may not stay on your product if you do not have the correct adhesive. Here at Alpine, we can advise the correct adhesive and label stock based on your package’s environmental cycle.


How Do I Know If I Need Wet Label Adhesives?

While no one specifically chooses wet label adhesives per se, it is good to be aware of the label application process of your product and understand when you may expect your products to be labeled in a wet environment. Alpine sees the need for wet label adhesives most often in the craft brewing industry. By the time the beer bottles and beer cans reach the labeler, the bottles and cans are covered with beer, water or condensation.


How Wet Labeling Application Works in the Craft Beer Industry

In smaller bottling and canning operations, the containers are filled with beer that is approximately 33 to 34 degrees Fahrenheit. Condensation begins to form immediately and beer often spills or overflows over the top. The can or bottle is then sprayed with cold water to wash off any remaining beer or product. As little as 10 seconds later, these cans and bottles pass through an automatic labeler and a pressure sensitive label is applied.

Usually, wet labeling application requires the label to be a film material (often bi-axially oriented polypropylene, also known as BOPP) as opposed to a paper stock. In addition, a top lamination or varnish may be used to protect the inks and maintain the label’s colors and designs. Additionally, the material features a special durable adhesive designed specifically for wet applications.

Label application machines that rotate the bottle through two pressure rollers often work best for wet labeling, as the pressure aids in “pushing” some of the water out that may be between the container and label. Alternatively, wet labels can also be applied using a brush, but in many cases, this may require some machine adjustments.


Challenges Associated with Wet Labeling Applications

The overall challenge with wet labeling application is simply getting the label to adhere to the wet surface. Some packaging companies may dry the packaging before labelling using “air knives” or blowers, allowing for easier labelling and a wider choice of stocks.

If you’re looking for labels that maintain their integrity and stick to wet containers during the packaging process, simply fill out our Contact Form.