If you’ve ever used a label or tag to identify a product or even yourself, chances are you’ve used Traffolyte. But what is Traffolyte? A durable type of plastic, Traffolyte is widely used to make labels and tags and is currently in high demand, thanks to its superior properties.
What You Need to Know About Traffolyte
Traffolyte is a phenolic engraving laminate consisted of three layers – a core and two outer layers – that, once engraved, expose the middle in a manner that grabs attention due to its aesthetic appeal.
A brief history
Traffolyte (a brand name) was first made in 1927 by Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Limited in Manchester, United Kingdom, for transformer labels. In 1945, De La Rue Insulation Ltd. bought the company but exited the business in the ’60s. Over the years, companies that manufacture tri-layer and bi-layer phenolic engraving stock have simply called the material Traffolyte. The name can be considered a generic term, considering that there isn’t a record of it being a registered trademark in the UK or the United States.
Traffolyte sheets are available in two standard thicknesses: 1.6 millimetres and 3.2 millimetres. The good thing about the material is that it can be engraved using a mechanical engraver or even by hand. And apart from being durable, the material possesses good insulating properties that make it suitable for use with different electrical equipment as it won’t any safety and health risks.
How is Traffolyte Made?
Traffolyte sheets are made through sandwiching three sheets of phenolic plastic together. Phenolic plastic, on the other hand, is a synthetic plastic that’s the byproduct of the reaction between phenol (carbolic acid) and formaldehyde.
To create Traffolyte, the sheets of phenolic plastic used need to have different colours, so that when a layer is etched, it reveals a different, contrasting hue. The first type of phenolic plastic ever made was the now-passé Bakelite.
It’s worth noting that the process of making phenolic plastic does pose several risks. For instance, phenolic dust produced during the production process is quite dangerous and can affect one’s health when inhaled. When making Traffolyte, workers must use protective gear and equipment to protect their respiratory systems.
Traffolyte: Versatile, Durable, Unique
Traffolyte isn’t that new in the market and is a unique and widely-used type of durable plastic. The material is a favourite amongst engravers due to its versatility considering that it can be used to provide functional and simple labels for commercial purposes or create wonderful and colourful effects for eye-catching labels.
Durable, easy to engrave, and versatile, Traffolyte has been, is, and will continue to be, a favourite branding and insulating material in various industries.