Have you ever thought about how bottle labels need to be able to sit in an ice bucket for hours without disintegrating AND wash off properly before the bottle is reused or recycled?
A lot more goes into a beer bottle label than meets the eye! Here’s a couple of things you might not have known about wet-strength labels:
The base paper of wet-strength labels is manufactured with a special chemical. This doesn’t really alter the label’s properties or appearance when it’s dry, but makes it resistant to breaking and tearing when wet.
Wet strength isn’t the same thing as waterproof or water resistant. Wet strength labels still absorb water, they just aren’t damaged by it.
Not all labels have the same level of wet strength, and for good reason. In some countries (such as Germany), labels have to detach from the bottle without dissolving during the washing process, so require high wet strength. In Canada, they need to be reduced to pulp, which calls for medium wet strength.
The wet strength of a label is measured in tensile strength on an Instron machine.