​Labels that Last: Pipe Labels Exposed to Extreme Weather

Posted by Antonio Ferraro on 4th Sep 2014

Pipe Labels

Most facilities today have machines both inside and outside, both of which are necessary for the day to day functions of the company. Outdoor machines are designed specifically with extreme weather in mind, so they should be able to function without any issues. The pipes that supply these machines with coolant, fuel, lubricant and other substances, however, might need some extra attention.

Specifically, the pipe labels that go on these pipes need to be chosen wisely in order to avoid any problems. Fortunately, there are many different types of labels available that are made for these areas. Making sure you get the right labels, and apply them properly will help to ensure your labels last for years to come.

Cold Weather Pipe Labels

Cold Storage Supply

When applying pipe labels to areas that are very cold, you will want to make sure you have label stock that is designed with this type of environment in mind. LabelTac has  cold storage label stock that will work in cold outdoor environments, or even in indoor freezers and other sub-zero locations.

This specific type of labeling is able to be applied directly to pipes, even in temperatures as low as -10 degrees. Once this pipe label is in place, it can function without problems in temperatures as low as -40 degrees. The cold weather labels can also work in areas that get very warm, which makes it ideal for any environment that has significant temperature fluctuations.

The LabelTac cold storage supply can function without issues in temperatures up to 200 degrees.

Why Cold Weather Pipe Labels are Essential

If you are going to be applying labels to pipes that will experience very cold temperatures, you might wonder what makes them different than normal label stock. To really understand this, you need to know why normal labels can come off in cold weather.

As the temperature drops, the adhesives on the back of labels will become more brittle. This can cause it to lose its bond with the pipe along the edges. If the temperatures heat up, the adhesive will soften again. As the temperature cycles repeatedly, the adhesive will quickly lose its strength, making it begin to curl up along the edges.

When this begins to happen, the label will start peeling off quite quickly. In addition, if something comes in contact with a label that has begun to curl up, it can cause the label to be torn off. With a cold weather pipe label, however, the adhesive is made specifically to stand up to these temperature changes, and avoid becoming brittle even when it is very cold.

Visit Creative Safety Supply

High Temperature Pipe Labels

On the opposite side of the spectrum are the high temperature pipe labels. These labels are made to last, even when it gets extremely hot. They are great for areas where the temperature climbs quite high, or when you have a pipe that is carrying something of a high temperature such as steam.

LabelTac has a type of stock that is designed specifically for high temperatures as well. This option has the following great benefits:

  • High Temperature Application – You can apply these labels to surfaces that are quite hot. Just make sure you take precautions not to burn yourself when applying the label.
  • High Temperature Performance – This stock is made for temperatures as high as 320 degrees.
  • Wide Range of Acceptable Temperatures – Once installed, the label can be exposed to temperatures ranging from -40 to 320 degrees.
  • Durable – This type of label can be exposed to UV, water, and many chemicals without being damaged.
  • Smear Resistant – Even when wet or hot, the ink won’t smear on these labels.

These high temperature pipe labels are able to stand up to the heat because of the fact that they use an adhesive that is designed specifically for these situations. In addition, the label material itself was chosen to be resistant to heat so it won’t get damaged or catch on fire.

Creating Custom Pipe Labels

Industrial Label Printer for Pipe Labels

It doesn’t matter how durable your pipe labels are if they don’t convey the right information. This is why it is so important to be able to create your own custom labels. This is best done by using an industrial label printer. There are several of these types of  printers available from LabelTac. Choosing the one that will allow you to print the size and type of labels you desire is important.

If your facility does not have a label printer, you can always order labels from a third party printer, but that will be quite expensive. If you do choose to go that route, make sure you always specific what type of label stock you require. Printing on the high or low label stock will cost more, but it is well worth it in the end.

Installing Pipe Labels in Extreme Temperatures

While having the right labels is essential, it is almost as important to know how to properly (and safely) install them. Placing labels on pipes can be a fairly difficult task in the best of situations, but when they are extremely hot or extremely cold, it can be even harder.

The ideal option is to schedule a time when the pipes can be brought to a normal room temperature before installing any pipe labels. If that isn’t possible, you need to make sure that you are taking the right safety precautions before installing the labels. This typically means protecting your hands with safety gloves while working with the hot or cold pipes.

While putting the pipe labels on, you want to do all you can to ensure the surface is smooth and dry. This can be difficult, but by taking a dry cloth and wiping it down just before placing the label, it is possible. Once ready, quickly apply the label starting from one edge and wrap it around the pipe. You’ll need to make sure it is the right size label so that it doesn’t cover over itself. This is why having a custom industrial label printer in your facility is important.

Once in place, your pipe labels should look great and last for years regardless of how hot or cold it gets.

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