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Pulling Back the Curtain: A Look at DuraLabel’s Tough-Tested Process

11 June, 2024

A photo of a label worn due to abrasion testing.


When researching reliable safety products and solutions, consumers want something that is long-lasting even under extreme conditions. Countless organizations boast they have durable signs and labels, yet they do not share the evidence of this claim. Some may avoid mentioning their product's durability, forcing the consumer to blindly trust the quality. 

Facilities are required to meet the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) standards for safety signs that can maintain their proper color and legibility. For example, OSHA 29 CFR 1910.145(f)(4)(ii) requires that the tag’s “signal word shall be readable at a minimum distance of five feet (1.52 m) or such greater distance as warranted by the hazard.” 

Workers may have difficulty understanding signs if their workplace signage is not properly maintained. This can lead to fines, injuries, or even worse, death. 

In 2022, OSHA reported the second most cited workplace violation was due to a lack of proper hazard communication, which resulted in 3,227 violations. 

These violations can be reduced with the assistance of OSHA-compliant durable signs and labels. DuraLabel can guarantee their product’s durability and longevity in any setting because of their strenuous tough-tested process. The tests conducted ensure that every tape, marker, and sign sold is upheld to the finest standards. 

DuraLabel is one of the few companies that conducts these tests in-house, whereas others rely on external sources for their assessments. For extra confidence, DuraLabel will occasionally send their products to a third-party lab for further verification. 

DuraLabel's Rigorous In-House Testing: Ensuring Top-Quality Visual Communication 

Why We Test In-House 

At DuraLabel, we believe in the power of in-house testing for our visual communication products. By conducting rigorous tests on-site, we maintain stringent quality control, ensure cost-efficiency, and foster innovation. Here are five key benefits of our in-house testing approach: 

1. Control and Flexibility 

In-house testing gives us direct control over the testing processes and conditions, ensuring they meet our high standards and specific requirements. We can quickly make any necessary adjustments to testing procedures without waiting for external communication and coordination. Our tests are tailored to meet the unique requirements of our products and can be adjusted as needed without external restrictions. 

2. Faster Turnaround 

Conducting tests on-site allows us to obtain results faster, enabling quicker decision-making and prompt responses to any potential issues. Immediate testing capabilities enhance our development cycles, improving overall product development efficiency. 

3. Consistency and Standardization 

Maintaining standardized testing procedures on site ensures reliable and consistent results across different product batches. In-house testing promotes stringent quality control measures, ensuring our high standards are consistently met throughout the testing process. 

4. Enhanced Expertise and Knowledge 

Building and maintaining an in-house testing team enhances our expertise and knowledge base, providing a deeper understanding of product performance and potential issues. Our in-house team continuously improves testing methods and protocols based on direct feedback and ongoing test results. 

5. Integrated Development Process 

Closer collaboration between our testing and product development teams improves communication and incorporates test feedback into the development process. An integrated in-house approach ensures that testing is a key part of the entire product lifecycle, from initial development to final quality assurance. 

By committing to rigorous in-house testing, DuraLabel not only upholds the highest standards of quality and reliability but also fosters innovation and efficiency in our product development process. 

DuraLabel Tough-Tested Processes 

DuraLabel performs several tests on all of its products. Here are the 4 tests performed: 

  • An adhesion test 
  • A chemical test 
  • An accelerated weather test 
  • An abrasion test 

Through the rigorous tests DuraLabel performs, they can confidently guarantee each product can withstand countless conditions and maintain their durability over time. These checks provide customers with long-lasting and reliable safety solutions. 

The following processes are the general steps DuraLabel uses to assess their products: 

  • DuraLabel-ToughTested-Symbols-Heat-1
  • DuraLabel-ToughTested-Symbols-Chemical
  • DuraLabel-ToughTested-Symbols-UV
  • DuraLabel-ToughTested-Symbols-Abrasion

Adhesion Test Steps 


1. Select a test surface such as an aluminum plate.

2. Apply the adhesive label or tape to the test surface.


3. Use a shear strength tester to apply a specified weight (typically 1000 grams) to the label.

4. Ensure the weight is securely attached and positioned to measure the force required to shear the label off the plate. 


5. Start the timer to measure the duration the adhesive can hold the weight before failing.

6. Monitor and record the time it takes for the adhesive to fail and the weight to fall off. 


7. A passing result requires the adhesive to hold for at least 15 minutes.

8. Repeat the test on various surfaces to assess performance across different materials. 

Chemical Test Steps

A chemical swab test being done on product


1. Apply the label or tape to a test surface such as a piece of stainless steel or a concrete paver. 


2. Use a fume hood to handle and extract vapors from volatile chemicals.



3. Perform a rub test using a Q-tip dipped in the chemical, applying a forward-backward motion for up to 100 cycles. 

4. For more chemical-resistant products, submerge the sample in one of the specified chemicals (e.g., isopropyl alcohol, acetone, WD-40) for 24 hours.

5. After 24 hours, remove the sample and quickly assess its condition.


UV/Chem testing



6. Evaluate the sample for any signs of degradation, such as color fading, adhesive failure, or material softening. 

7. The label or tape fails if it becomes illegible when viewed at arm's length. 


Accelerated Weather Test Steps 


1. Apply the label or tape to the test surface.

2. Place the sample in an accelerated weather testing chamber. 


3. Set the chamber to simulate outdoor weather conditions, such as UV exposure, moisture, and humidity.

4. The standard duration for the test is 360 hours, simulating one year of outdoor exposure. 


5. Continuously monitor the sample for signs of degradation such as color fading, cracking, or adhesive failure.

6. Regularly document the condition of the sample at specified intervals. 


7. Determine the point of failure when the print or adhesive shows significant deterioration, typically when the base material becomes visible, or the print becomes illegible. 

Abrasion Test Steps 

  • DuraLabel-Tough_Tested-Float-5
  • DuraLabel-Tough_Tested-Float-6
  • DuraLabel-Tough_Tested-Float-8


1. Print a sample label or tape with text and barcodes.

2. Attach the sample to the test surface. 


3. Use a Taber Abraser. This simulates wear and tear through rotational abrasion.

4. Set the machine according to American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards, ensuring the correct abrasives and weights are used.


5. Start the machine and allow it to abrade the sample up to 50 cycles.

6. Monitor the sample for wear, focusing on the legibility of text and barcodes. 


7. Assess the sample for readability and structural integrity after the test.

8. The test is considered failed if the text or barcode becomes illegible when viewed at arm's length. 

These processes ensure that the products are thoroughly tested through various elements. This provides a detailed assessment of their durability under different conditions, so facilities can have confidence in the quality of the products they buy. 

DuraLabel Tough-Tested Solutions 

Durable, OSHA-compliant signs can provide workers with important safety instructions and guidelines based on the facilities they are in. A deteriorated sign can cause confusion, delay, and harm. Workers could get injured from managing a container due to worn-down labels not properly conveying handling instructions. 

Whether it’s safety signs, pipe markers, or equipment labels—DuraLabel’s tough-tested floor marking and safety signs are ready to protect workers throughout the workplace. Get help crafting a system that will provide the safety communication you need. Call 1-888-695-5670 and one of our experts will guide you through the process.   

Learn more about how to stay up to date on OSHA signage requirements that can be used to help create a safer environment that gives workers peace of mind. Download our free Facility Signage Handbook today. 


Download Your Free Facility Signage Handbook
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