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One of the most sophisticated, upscale decorating looks used today, In-Mould labeling is an attractive and unique alternative to other decoration methods. In-Mould labels create an elegant, "no-label" look at less expense than other label alternatives.
During the container's manufacturing process, a label is placed into an open mold. When plastic resin is extruded into the mold, it conforms to the shape of the object. The end result? A beautiful, squeezable container that does not require additional labeling steps or equipment.
Advantages of injection mold label
Disadvantages of injection mold label
In-mold labeling is used in a wide range of products: household products, toiletries, automotive, food, personal care products, dairy products and paints.
See here for more examples
There are two major in-mold labeling technologies in the market
1. In-mold blow molding (IML-B)
2. Injection mold In-molding (IM-IML)
Besides adhesive coated paper, most of the substrates for IML-B are high density polyethylene (HDPE), cast polypropylene (CPP) and other co-polymeres, which all are very heat sensitive. Most of these substrates are not suitable for printing with UV-flexo, and there are no standard chemical formulas for these substrates.
Printers have their own substrate and glue compounds, based on many years of experience, and these substrates are printed either on reel or sheet-fed offset, solvent based flexo and solvent based gravure.
The opposite is true for IM-IML where one basic substrate type is available. It is oriented polypropylene (OPP) and only few manufactures world wide supply the substrate. This substrate has better heat resistance features than IML-B substrate and it is printable with UV ink technology, therefore the focus of this paper is injection mold in-mold labeling.
Compared to the other label markets the IML market varies worldwide.
The injection mold in-mold labeling is a pre-decorating technique. The preprinted synthetic monofoil substrate will be applied on a container during the container injection forming procedure. The process is often called the pre-decoration process.
There are two label application methods in the market
1. cut & stack and
IM-IML offers superior creative graphics possibilities compared to the direct printed or direct screen printed container solution. IM-IML are die-cut labels shaped to cover all four sides and bottom of a rectangular container or cut-in-place label wrapped around the cylindrical container i.e. small and large paint containers or buckets.
The substrate and labeling technology of IM-IML
Most of the injection mold labeling materials are synthetic monofoil substrates.
The so called biaxal oriented polypropylene (BOPP or OPP). BOPP is a multi layer co-extruded film, available either cavitated white or transparent. One of the layers contains – depending on the manufacturer – an antistatic layer. This antistatic layer is designed to improve the converting and application processes. Some of the white films have two specified surfaces, one for printing and other for the molding. The printing surface is either glossy or matt with certain structure and the thickness of the substrate varies between 45-75 micron.
CTP offers a variety of In-Mold products that have been formulated for specific applications. Our product data sheets provide technical details for each product.