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At PSI Brand, our journey has been defined by decades of collaboration with customers worldwide. We’ve been privileged to offer innovative branding solutions that empower our customers to brand their plastic products effectively and with a hearty dose of WOW! Our lineup of INMOULD, POSTMOULD, and High Performance Decal solutions has simplified the branding process for our  customers.

Yet, the road to success when it comes to branding plastic products isn’t always been smooth, especially when it comes to applying graphics or branding to plastics. In this brief article, we explore the challenges inherent in the overall process and why plastics can pose unique obstacles for graphic application.

surface energy

Surface Energy Mismatch:

Plastics typically have low surface energy, meaning they have fewer molecular sites available for bonding with adhesives or inks. This low surface energy has historically made it difficult for graphics to adhere effectively to plastic surfaces, leading to issues such as peeling, delamination, and poor durability.

Chemical Composition:

The chemical composition of plastics varies widely depending on the type of polymer used. Certain plastics, such as polyethylene and polypropylene, have non-polar molecular structures, further reducing their readiness for adhesives and inks. Conversely, polar plastics like polycarbonate and acrylic offer better adhesion properties due to their higher surface energy and presence of functional groups that facilitate bonding.

smooth surface plastic

Smooth Surfaces:

Plastics products and parts often have smooth surfaces that lack texture, making it challenging for adhesives to mechanically interlock with the substrate. Without the proper surface preparation, any adhesives may struggle to achieve adequate adhesion.

Thermal Expansion:

Plastics undergo thermal expansion and contraction with changes in temperature, which can cause stress at the interface between the adhesive and the substrate. This stress can weaken the adhesive bond over time, leading to failure.

thermal expansion
chemical resistance

Chemical Resistance:

Some plastics are resistant to chemicals and solvents, which can interfere with the adhesive’s ability to bond to the surface. 

Making graphic application to plastic easy

At PSI Brand, we’ve dedicated over 30 years to perfecting your next branding solution for plastic parts and products. Creating a hardwearing solution that stands the test of time requires patience, expertise, and dedication.

We’re super-keen to discuss how we can assist with your next branding application to plastic. To make things easier, we’d love to offer you a free Starter Kit to showcase just how effortlessly PSI Brand graphics adhere to plastic. Simply pop your details in below, and we’ll handle the rest!