Cryogenic Labels: The Importance of Choosing the Right Adhesive

According to the National Institutes for Standards and Technology (NIST), the term “cryogenic” was first used in 1894 by Professor Kamerlingh Onnes of the University of Leiden in the Netherlands to describe the “art and science” of “producing much lower temperatures [than normal].” Today, the term is generally used to describe temperatures that consistently remain below approximately -150°C.

Today, one of the most popular applications for cryogenic technology is the storage of human-borne biological substances — particularly semen, human blood, organs, and embryos — in hospitals that perform in vitro fertilization, blood transplants, organ transplants, and embryonic research, among other endeavors that involve preserved biological substances.

When they are placed in cryogenic storage, these substances and others must be appropriately labeled for reference and use, which brings us to the subject of this entry: the importance of choosing the right adhesive for cryogenic labels. Below, we take brief look at three of the most important considerations for making the correct adhesive choice.

  1. Temperature Range of Adhesive

The longevity of medical label adhesive depends largely on the conditions to which labels are exposed long-term. At first glance, the best solution may appear to be “all-temperature adhesive”. However, this category of adhesive typically doesn’t perform well at temperatures below -12.2°C. This means that the customer should specify the need for cryogenic adhesive that is formulated to last as long as the labeled object will remain at cryogenic temperatures.

  1. Surface Quality of Container

When they are examined under a microscope, some storage containers have smoother surfaces than others. If a storage container has heterogenous texture that lacks uniformity, using cryogenic labels that have “high tac adhesive” is an excellent option, as the adhesive’s high tac can fill in minor surface irregularities to achieve strong adhesion. High tac adhesive is typically formulated to be “permanent adhesive” that isn’t designed to be removed.

  1. Permanence of Adhesive

If you don’t intend to reuse cryogenic storage containers, permanent adhesive may be your best option. However, if you intend to reuse storage containers or anticipate the need to relabel them while they are stored, “removable adhesive” (a.k.a. temporary adhesive) may be a better option. Labels that have removable adhesive are designed to stay firmly in place, but they can be removed with minimal effort when they are peeled away in the traditional fashion.

Shopping for Cryogenic Labels?

If so, Shamrock Labels is ready to take your order. We offer ready made cryogenic labels that are available for immediate shipment, and we also accept custom orders for cryogenic labels that conform to your specific requirements, including labels that have precisely the right type of adhesive for your storage needs.

To inquire about adhesive options for our cryogenic labels, or to place an order, please call us today at (800) 323-0249, or fill out the contact form on our website. You can also browse through our cryogenic products here. We look forward to providing labels that support your organization’s cryogenic storage system!

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