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How to Choose Adhesives for Nameplates, Labels & Tags

Posted on: August 9th, 2017 by | No Comments

When you choose the brand name for your business, the hope is to make it stick in your consumer’s minds. The same is true for labeling your equipment and products with your brand logo, specifications or tracking information. You need something that sticks, literally. When it comes to choosing the right adhesives for industrial labels or nameplates, there are a variety of things to consider to be sure you’ll have a lasting hold. On what surface will the nameplate be attached to? Will it be used indoors or outdoors? Will it be exposed to chemicals or extreme temperature ranges? In the following guide, we’ll walk through the different factors that affect adhesion and discuss solutions for each.


Surface Condition

First, the surface of both your nameplate and the surface it will adhere to are two of the most important determinants. This can include the materials used, their texture, size, flexibility, surface energy, and any treatment that’s been applied to either surface.



Generally, adhesives are known for easily attaching to metals. And U.S. Nameplate offers the industry’s top choice in foam adhesive for metal nameplates. Some plastic materials like polyester, polycarbonate and vinyl, require a plasticizer-resistant adhesive to prevent softening or loosening of the bond. The flexible material options at U.S. Nameplate Co., however, accept a variety of adhesives including tapes and instant solutions.



Texture also plays a role in determining the type of adhesive you’ll need. If you are attaching to a rough or irregular surface, a foam adhesive can fill the gaps between the two surfaces. Smooth surfaces, on the other hand, have a much wider variety of adhesive options depending on the other factors discussed in this blog.



We mentioned earlier that metals are often easy to adhere to, however, there is an exception when the metal has been powder coat painted. In this case, the coating becomes the bonding surface and requires an adhesive made specifically for that. U.S. Nameplate Co. offers a foam adhesive for just this situation with the 3M 300LSE Series.



Size is another important factor. As a general rule, the larger the size, the greater the strength of adhesion you’ll need to form a durable bond. For instance, hanging a large metal sign will require a much stronger adhesive than a small plastic tag.




Regardless of the material, texture or other attributes, it is essential that the surface you’re adhering your nameplate to is dry and clean to maximize the strength of the bond. This means removing any dirt, grease or other residue that may prevent adhesion. For most surfaces, a 50-50 mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol will suffice, however, certain materials or impurities may require additional preparation. Make sure to follow the application guidelines provided with your adhesive backed nameplates for optimal durability.


Surface Energy

The last component of the surface to consider is the surface energy. Surface energy determines the strength of attraction between two materials. The higher the surface energy, the greater the bond. Metals and plastics like acrylic, polyester and polycarbonate all have high surface energies and are easier to adhere to. Low surface energy plastics include polyvinyl, polystyrene, polyethylene. There are, however, many adhesive solutions made specifically for low surface energy materials like the 3M LSE Series.


Application Orientation

Just as a surface’s attributes affect its adhesive bond capability, the orientation of an application also plays a role. If you are placing your adhesive nameplate on a stationary horizontal plane like the top of an electrical box, the weight of the nameplate really isn’t a factor. If you are hanging a nameplate on a wall or any other vertical plane, however, you have gravity working against you. This means you’ll need to consider the weight of the nameplate and choose a stronger adhesive to hold the product in place.


Environment & Use

Orientation isn’t the only component of an adhesive nameplate’s application that you need to consider. The type of product the nameplate is being applied to (mobile or stationary) and where it will be located (indoor or outdoor) will also affect the adhesive. For example, machinery that is constantly moving will need a stronger adhesive than a stationary application. And if that machinery is often used outdoors like construction or farm equipment, you’ll need an adhesive that is resistant to harsh outdoor environments. Some indoor environments can be just as demanding, such as in the medical or food service industries. Indoor applications in these environments may also require stronger adhesives.


Exposure to the Elements

Along with its environment, an application’s potential exposure to elements like extreme temperatures, harsh chemicals, UV light and humidity will also require specific adhesive solutions. U.S. Nameplate Co. offers a variety of 3M adhesives made specifically for these situations, including the following:


  • High heat: 3M 200MP Series has excellent high temperature performance
  • Extreme cold: 3M 300LSO Series has excellent high and low temperature performance
  • Chemicals: 3M Series are resistant to occasional contact with chemicals
  • UV Light: 3M 200MP Series & 300LSE Series are UV resistant
  • Humidity: 3M 200MP Series & 3M 300LSE Series are waterproof


At U.S. Nameplate Co., we strive to offer custom and innovative solutions to fit your business or industrial needs. We work closely with adhesive manufacturers to provide you the best solution, even if we don’t currently have it in stock.

For more information about the specific materials or adhesives that are best for your project, give us a call or send us a message and one of our highly skilled team members will help create a custom solution for you.

Why Custom Nameplates Are Better Than Blanks

Posted on: June 30th, 2016 by | No Comments



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International Standards for Quality Management

Posted on: October 22nd, 2014 by | No Comments

What is ISO?

International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the largest International Standard developer in the world.  The International Standards set in place by ISO make business all around the world better.  The standards set specifications for products, services and systems of businesses and manufacturers.  The standards also exist to help ensure quality, safety and efficiency in the workplace.

There are more than 19,500 different International Standards across almost every industry.  U.S. Nameplate Co. adheres to management systems standards set in place by ISO and is in the process of becoming ISO 9001:2008 certified.

The standards set in place by ISO ensure manufacturing processes and products are safe, reliable and of good quality.

 What is Quality Management and Management Standards?

Quality management includes quality planning, control, assurance, and improvement to ensure and organizations keeps their product or service improved and consistent.

Quality management is best when ran under a system.  A management system lays out a set of procedures and practices that an organization should follow to meet goals and expectations.

ISO 9001:2008 is a quality management system standard that provides companies across the world, with a model system to follow and adhere to.

The quality management system standard ISO 9001:2008, is based upon the following principles:

  • Customer Focus – Understanding customer needs and expectations.
  • Leadership – Finding purpose and direction of company leadership.
  • Involvement of People– Creating community within an organization.
  • Process Approach– Creating and following an organized process.
  • System Approach to Management– Finding and utilizing an efficient and effective method.
  • Continual Improvement– A constant improvement and measure of performance.
  • Factual Approach to Decision Making– Basing decisions on factual data analysis and information.
  • Mutually Beneficial Supplier Relationships – Increasing ability of organizations and

 Becoming ISO 9001:2008 Certified

Companies and manufacturers interested in becoming ISO 9001:2008 certified do so to add credibility to their services and products.  ISO creates standards, however ISO does not grant certification.  Only an accredited certification body can grant companies with ISO 9001:2008 certification.

To locate an accredited certification body, contact the national accreditation body visit the International Accreditation Forum.

For more information about ISO 9001:2008 certifications and other ISO Standards, visit