How do I print and apply laboratory labels?

laboratory labels



What are the properties of a laboratory label?

Laboratory labels must meet certain requirements in order to comply with the technical and sanitary conditions specific to the medical environment. The purpose of these properties is to avoid any risk of chemical incident or error, as the consequences could be serious. These are the different properties of laboratory labels:  

  • Reliable mapping of results and data
  • Labelling of patient samples and substances
  • High durability
  • Safe migration of the adhesive
  • Resistance of the adhesive to very low and very high conditions and temperatures
  • Resistance to chemicals and solvents
  • Protection against manipulation (cryogenics, flame apparatus, autoclave, centrifuge...ect)
  • Legibility of images and barcodes even after intensive use
  • Suitable for containers with a volume of 1 to 100 ml or a diameter of 7 to 50 mm

The main characteristic of laboratory labels is that they are only synthetic (backing and labels), therefore there are no residues that can contaminate and falsify the results. On the other hand, labels sheets will have a different backing that can leave residues. At SBE we offer 3 types of laboratory labels that have these requirements. Here is our comparison table:

LabelSizesMaterialWidthAdhésiveAdvantagesPrinting
Matte white label for clean rooms210x297, 200x287, 200x144, 99x144, 190x70, 99x67, 99x50, 85x45, 99x38, 66x55, 99x34, 63x38, 64x34, 48x34, 67x25, 50x19, 38x21, 75x45 (ovale) 21x9White matt coated polyethylene filmFilm: 135µm, adhesive: 20µmPermanent acrylicTemperature resistance -40°C to +150°C, UV, weathering, chemicals, solvents.Laser
Heavy duty labels for autoclaves210x297, 200x287, 200x144, 99x144, 190x70, 99x67, 99x50, 85x45, 99x38, 66x55, 99x34, 63x38, 64x34, 48x34, 67x25, 50x19, 38x21, 75x45 (ovale) 21x9White matt coated polyester filmFilm: 60µm, adhesive: 20µmPermanent acrylicTemperature resistance -40°C to +150°C, UV, weathering, chemicals, solvents.Laser
Translucent label for vials210x297, 200x287, 200x144, 99x144, 190x70, 99x67, 99x50, 85x45, 99x38, 66x55, 99x34, 63x38, 64x34, 48x34, 67x25, 50x19, 38x21, 75x45 (ovale) 21x9Gloss coated translucent polyester filmFilm: 60µm, adhesive: 20µmPermanent acrylicTemperature resistance -40°C to +150°C, UV, weathering, chemicals, solvents.Laser

Please note: Polypropylene labels are the most commonly used in laboratories because they are resistant to many solvents such as methanol, isopropyl alcohol and xylene.



What information should be printed on a laboratory label?

To facilitate the handling of numerous samples and to avoid any risk of loss or confusion that could have bad consequences, it is essential to print the following information on your laboratory labels 

  • Date of manufacture
  • Expiry date
  • Batch number
  • EAN barcode
  • Encrypted patient data
  • Sample data

Given the multitude of test samples, your laboratory labels must be a reliable identification and traceability medium to ensure the storage, filing and tracking of specimens for laboratory testing and analysis. The label must be tear-proof, non-tearable and always remain legible during and after the treatments it is subjected to.

In the case of an automated analysis process, it is important to position your label correctly on the container so that the information can be read by the machine. Otherwise, failure to read a label can cause problems for the analysis of samples. If the label is applied by hand, care should be taken not to touch or rub the adhesive so as not to disturb the adhesion to the substrate.



Which printer should I choose for printing laboratory labels ?

imprimante transfert thermique

To print on laboratory labels, we recommend a thermal transfer printer, which uses heat to transfer the ink from the ribbon to the label. Indeed, this printing has several advantages for laboratory labels as it can print small fonts, barcodes on small labels. The print quality is high and durable allowing you to create your own labels in your premises using the Nicelabel Designer software.

You will benefit from saving time and money by having your printer and labelling sheets directly on your premises.

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