Security Seal Types: What's right for your business?

Security seals are used in many industries as essential evidence of unauthorised entry or tampering and theft attempts. However, although their physical function is certainly important, the markings printed on security seals also hold valuable information. Barcodes, business logos, and numbered codes marked on the security seals all transmit key information to those working with the seals, keeping careful track of the seals location, condition, and owner. Each of these individual seals needs to be marked carefully with this information, but all security seal marking methods are not created equal. With today’s concern of terrorism, cargo theft, and tampering, security is a top priority for the storage and transportation of important goods. Security seals are effective tools for deterring and detecting unauthorised access, theft, or tampering. But like with most things, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to security seals. There are different types of seals that perform best under certain circumstances and for different tasks.

Cable seals. Cable seals are durable seals that are used to seal valves, locked doors, and other items that have a small opening through which a cable wire can be inserted. Some cable seals meet ISO 17712 ratings for high security, so can be used for high-security situations like international cargo shipping. Different size jobs require different cable lengths, although excess cable length can be easily trimmed. They also come in different cable diameters, typically ranging from 1.5mm to 5mm. You can view our range of cable seals by clicking here.

Bolt seals. Bolt seals are another high-security seal option that are designed with a complex locking mechanism yet are self-locking so do not require tools and are easy to put in place. They have a steel bolt and a tamper-evident body part that are manually attached to form a seal. They are customisable by colour, print, and barcoding for additional security layers. These seals are ideal for containers, trailer door latches, and cross border shipments. These heavy duty seals require a bolt cutter to be removed. You can view these seals by clicking here.

Fixed-length plastic seals. Fixed-length plastic seals are among the strongest type of plastic seal, with breaking strengths ranging from 35-60kg. These seals work exceptionally well for securing cargo for truck shipments. Fixed-length seals are inexpensive, so they are a good option when cost is a concern. You can view these fixed-length seals by clicking here.

Plastic pull-tight seals. Pull-tight seals are similar to fixed-length plastic seals, except that they come in a wider variety of breaking strengths and are adjustable to match specific needs. For example, pull-tight seals can be used for sealing hazardous waste, fire extinguishers, cash bags, vehicle doors, and more. Adjustable plastic seals are a good option when you have various needs as they are versatile. You can view these range of plastic seals by clicking here.

Meter and Wire Seals. Wire seals also have multiple varieties similar to plastic pull-tight seals, but their metal wires make are less likely due to break. These are ideal for when the seals need to fit through small openings. You can view our meter seals by clicking here.

Metal Barrier Seals. Metal strap seals are similar to fixed-length plastic seals, except for the material. Their material makes them more durable than plastic strap seals. You can increase the security level of metal strap seals with custom numbering, printing, and barcoding. Like the plastic option, metal strap seals are a good choice for trucking cargo. You can view these seals by clicking here.

Padlock seals. Padlock seals are relatively small seals and are extremely easy to use. They typically are used to prevent doors from being opened. Wire padlock seals are ideal for securing meters and drums, while plastic padlock seals are ideal for securing food and beverage carts, first aid kits, and zipper bags. You can view these seals by clicking here.

Laser Printing

There are benefits outlined below which demonstrate why marking security seals via laser printing is the leading method in this global market. Thanks to the high versatility and productivity rate of laser printing technology, an added advantage of this printing solution is the lower price, so your business doesn’t need to be financially burdened the next time you’re looking to keep your goods safe with high-quality marked security seals.

  1. Laser prints are permanent: One of the biggest advantages of laser marking security seals is the permanency. This printing method is resistant against temperature changes and external agents like weather and oil, as well as stronger, more aggressive solvents and chemicals. The markings created by laser printing hold up to all of these substances, making them very strong against damage and thus one of the most widely used security seal printing methods.
  2. Laser markings are accurate: Since lasers are a highly precise technology, laser printing is very detailed and accurate. The engravings made by laser printing are high definition prints, made up of very small, detailed strokes, making the end result precise. The accuracy of laser printing allows large amounts of detailed data to be displayed on a security seal without error.
  3. Laser printing cannot be imitated: With its previously explained permanency and extreme detail paired together, laser printed markings are very difficult to be copied or counterfeited. This advantage adds a significant amount of protection against imitation to laser marked security seals, adding another level of security to these printed seals.
  4. High Productivity, Versatility: Laser markings are economically advantageous due to two features of the printing process: high-speeds and high versatility. First, laser printers can achieve high-speed printing rates, making them highly productive pieces of machinery. In addition, laser markings are very versatile, able to be printed on various materials and surface types with the same detailed quality.

Hot Foil Stamping

In principle, hot foil stamping is the process of using heat and pressure to apply metallic foil or holograms to materials such as light papers, carton board, laminated board, plastics and corrugated board.
The term hot foil stamping encompasses:

  • Simple flat foil stamping
  • Deep embossing or embossing combined with foil stamping
  • Hologram and holographic foil application
  • Foil stamping combined with micro & structural embossing

The process is used on a wide range of products to create  anti-counterfeiting and traceability measures. In the packaging industry the applications include food, pharma, tobacco, and luxury goods packaging, as well as labels for products such as wine and spirits. Beyond security packaging, hot foil stamping is extensively used on banknotes, greetings cards, and throughout commercial print.

There are three differing operating principles found among foil stamping machines, commonly called flat-flat, round-flat, and round-round. Each provides it’s own individual benefits for printing which include:

  • Flat-flat – This hot foil stamping method offers ease of set up and readily available tooling. This reduces the cost of the seals for end users who do not require the highest level of print quality.
  • Round-flat – this style of hot foil stamping is ideal for smaller runs and therefore make it ideal for customers with low quantity requirements.
  • Round-round – Foil stamping machines using the round-round principle deliver very high production speeds and allow for the application of extremely fine details next to large solids.

About JW Products


JW Products
manufacture security seals and clinical waste ties from our purpose built factory in St Helens, producing high-quality, fully customisable security seals, including bolt seals, container seals, and trailer seals, across a wide range of industries. Through investment in both innovative manufacturing and quality customer service, JW has been producing high-quality seals for over 20 years. The company conforms to the highest standards of ISO-9001:2015 and supplies both public and private sectors, including the NHS and Greater Manchester Police.