Tags: Phenolic vs. Engravers Plastic


Every once in awhile we are asked if we make phenolic labels. Actually, most of the time the customer is asking us for a phenolic label and then ending up getting a label in engravers plastic after out discussion. I hope to clear this up with the description of both phenolic and what we believe is a better and more cost effective substitute. 

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, phenolic means: a usually thermosetting resin or plastic made by condensation of a phenol with an aldehyde and used especially for molding and insulating and in coatings and adhesives.

Well, I'm glad that clears everything up! In laymen terms (as far as labels go) it is either a two or three ply product that can be rotary engraved and is very brittle. It is not rated for outdoor use and not UV stable. It is also more costly than engravers plastic to process because it has to be rotary engraved and not laser engraved. So, let's quickly summarize: brittle, not UV stable, not suitable for outdoor use, and more expensive.

Why not use a substitute that is outdoor rated, UV stable, and less costly? That is exactly what engravers plastic is, but not even all of them are created equal. At Engrave It Houston, we use the best engravers plastic, one that is an industrial grade and extremely durable. We use our CO2 lasers to give each tag a precision cut and etch. That means that you get a tag that looks sharp, lasts a long time and was made in the USA.


Most projects only require a two ply plastic, with a top coat color and a contrasting color core underneath. The top layer is etched away by our laser exposing the color of the core. If needed, however, 3 ply is available, giving you a colored engraveable surface on both sides, with the contrasting core for the engraved area. By using a laser we can obtain intricate etching of logos or even other languages, such as Spanish or Russian (see tag above). We stock many color combinations to fit whatever requirement you might have. Give us a try on your next job. Until then, Enjoy Life!