Comin’ in Hot! The Label Experts Handle the Heat in Talladega

When the weather gets nice, labels get to work on the asphalt.

We stopped in our tracks when a very recognizable German luxury car manufacturer approached us about a unique label challenge. They required barcode labels that will stick to the interior of aluminum wheels while they undergo testing. That doesn’t sound too bad, but what kind of testing? Oh, you know—simple stuff—like the barcode needs to stay perfect during extreme heat cycles generated from high-speed brake tests at Talladega Superspeedway, or the label needs to stay put on wheels driven cross country through every element possible. Simple stuff…

Racecar Wheel Labeling

Luckily, we never shy from a challenge. Besides, when one of the largest automotive assembly facilities in the U.S. is asking for your help, how could we? Let’s get down to business. The first thing we tackled was finding an adhesive that adhered properly to aluminum, but conformable enough to work with the cylindrical shape of the wheel. Our distinguished EnduraLabels (#628), one of the sturdiest materials we cut, fit the criteria perfectly.

With the sticking power taken care of, we needed to address how to protect the barcodes and text after printing. For this, we experimented with a new overlaminate made of Lexan™ velvet (#478). This material really needs to be held and seen to be appreciated—its decorative matte finish and thick scratch resistant layer can make any label shine. This extra durability shielded barcodes from the dirt, moisture, and high heat generated from testing.

With our newly constructed labels, we shipped out a sample roll to try out on the raceway. Fast forward about two months, and we received official word that the labels are still stuck to the wheels, intact and still scannable. Phew! We’re happy to help. It’s not the first time our labels have found themselves out on the oval, but it’s always reassuring to know that our homegrown products can hang with renowned brands that you’d find on your favorite driver’s car.

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