Frozen Labels | Extreme Testing

We know that Brother's TZe tapes have been "tested to the extreme", and that the Dymo industrial tapes are hard wearing, but how do other labels hold up. I decided to run a test that had some interesting results. I got some direct thermal and thermal transfer labels, placed them on card cores from depleted tape rolls, doused them in water, kept them frozen and continued to give them a fresh splashing of water almost daily. The test subjects were the following:
  • Dymo
    • Direct thermal LabelWriter label
    • Thermal transfer Rhino vinyl label
    • Thermal transfer Rhino nylon label
    • Thermal transfer Rhino polyester label
  • Brother
    • Direct thermal QL paper label
    • Direct thermal QL clear plastic label


They were dated and put to the test. After two weeks of repeatedly adding more water to penetrate the labels and freezing, a result was concluded. Looking at the picture above, the Dymo labels are all on the upper half and the Brother ones are on the lower half. The direct thermal Brother labels kept their bold, dark print but the adhesive failed in the thawing process. The labels almost completely lost their stick rendering them useless by the end of the test. All the Dymo labels kept their adhesion. The thermal transfer vinyl, nylon and polyester kept their crisp print; which was to be expected. The direct thermal label however faded slightly, but it wasn't bad at all. All these results were unexpect. Personally I didn't think the direct thermal prints would last and I didn't expect the adhesive to deteriorate. The initial idea behind this test was, "which labels would be best for sandwiches or other cool applications?". You wouldn't freeze a sandwich but this is a much more extreme test to what could be the intended purpose of these labels.


The Brother direct thermal labels kept their print quality but lost their adhesion, the Dymo direct thermal labels kept their adhesion but the print quality faded slightly. If you're looking to produce medium sized labels for temporary cold use, a Dymo printer will do the job. Alternatively if you're looking for smaller labels and a more permanent solution it might be worth considering the Brother TZe tape.