The successful use of many security papers, foils and films depends on the technology of chemical fastening systems -- especially pressure sensitive adhesives. These are adhesives activated not by heat or by the evaporation of water or some other solvent, but simply by the act of application -- by pressure. These adhesives provide the means whereby laminations, substrates and seals are made effective. In addition to their physical properties these adhesives are often required to possess optical properties to allow the security materials to be visibly active and indeed the adhesive system may itself contribute as a carrier for a variety of security materials. Recent advances in adhesives chemistry have made it possible to achieve virtually all the required physical performance characteristics combined with a choice of optical properties ranging from total opacity to invisibility and including controlled translucency and tinting. The implications for security printing and packaging are important. Opacity is easy to achieve, for example by loading the adhesive with aluminum powder, by the selection of totally opaque materials like metallized film or by various printing processes. But achieving transparency is a different matter, and transparency is mandatory for applications involving the protection of documents, photographs, etc. with a clear film over-laminate. Obvious examples would be for passports, visas and other personal identification. But some security devices may themselves require protection; for example holograms or embossings. And transparency in the test laboratory is not enough. The Australian driving licence is stuck to the windshield, so the transparency of the adhesive must be sustained over long periods without deterioration due to prolonged u/v exposure, climatic conditions or aging. The commercial label market has helped to push the technology forward. There is a strong demand for the 'no-label look' for packaging of clear plastic and glass containers where the content can be easily seen without interference and where wording or symbols can be read through the container. You see this increasingly with pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and toiletries, even bottled beer. Achieving transparency is one thing but this property must be combined with all the physical properties required of the pressure sensitive adhesive. First there is the question of permanence, re-positionability and removability and the degree to which these features are required. Secondly many complications arise from the range of materials to which the adhesive must be anchored and the range to which it will be applied and must bond. Obviously these surfaces vary from those with the highest surface energy (polycarbonate for example) to those apolar surfaces engineered for minimum attraction (PTFE -- 'Teflon' for example).