Understanding Your Options with UL Materials

UL Listed, UL Recognized, UL File, UL Construction – what does it all mean to your design effort? For the industries that seek the approval of Underwriters Laboratories, having that mark on your product provides your customer with a level of assurance that your product is going to operate the way you anticipate. Towards that effort, Design Mark maintains a fairly substantial catalog of UL approved materials and U.L. listed constructions for use in the manufacturing of labels, graphic overlays and membrane switches. However, the sheer number of available materials and seemingly limitless number of combinations makes it nearly impossible (and cost prohibitive) for us to test and list every possible combination available.

The library of listed constructions that we maintain are those that we have found over the years to be the most popular choices for a wide range of environments and circumstances. To supplement these listed constructions we partner with our suppliers and even maintain reciprocity with some of their UL files to expand upon available offerings.

View Design Mark’s UL file listings online.

The benefit of a UL listed construction is that it allows the designer to know in advance how a material, product or component is going to perform in testing without worrying about the impact on the final design.

UL Listed (Design Mark products) – A material or construction of materials that has been submitted on behalf of the supplier to UL for testing as a system within a specific set of environmental variables on a specific set of materials and surfaces. With labels and overlay materials, this usually consists of an adhesive, a substrate and an ink submitted for testing under UL 969. UL Listing means that UL has tested representative samples of the product and determined that it meets UL’s requirements. These requirements are based primarily on UL’s published and nationally recognized Standards for Safety.

UL Recognized Component (Design Mark supplier’s products) – A material that has been submitted by the manufacturer for UL 969 testing as a component but not necessarily in combination with ink or other substrates to preview their effect on the material as part of a package. There are many materials that are UL Recognized that aren’t actually UL Listed by a supplier such as Design Mark.

UL Registered Certification as an Authorized Label Supplier – A supplier whose product has been evaluated by Underwriters Laboratories and is authorized to print the UL mark on their products and is subject to annual audits and recurring product evaluations.

For a design engineer, the highest level of surety comes from using a UL Listed construction. However, within the label, graphic overlay and membrane switch industry, using a combination of UL Recognized components can provide a fairly high level of confidence in the predicted outcome as well because of the way our products integrate.

It is important to remember that all of these terms have specific meaning and the wording on your drawings may reflect one set of intentions when you mean something totally different. While we’ve seen them used interchangeably, the reality is that they have dramatically different meanings to the supplier. How this affects you is that these differences can have implications on the cost and lead-time of your products.

Design Mark has years of experience working with UL and with our material suppliers and has developed a thorough understanding of the materials and requirements for the label, graphic overlay and membrane switch products that we produce.

Talk with Design Mark engineers and give us the opportunity review your design. We will ask questions to learn about your application and discuss your environmental considerations and surfaces. With an understanding of your design and your cost goals we can suggest materials and offer equivalent solutions that might help you lower your product cost and meet your needs.

If you would like to learn more, contact Design Mark to discuss your application or to set up a “Lunch and Learn” seminar with our team.

For more information on Design Mark or our Lunch and Learn series, contact us at Sales@design-mark.com or Request a Quote.


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