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Hot Melt Adhesive is in Continuous Development I


For many people, the glue sticks and glue guns they buy at their local hobby or hardware store are an introduction to hotm melt adhesive, but these products are only a small glimpse of what is possible in the world of hot melts. “Hot melt” does not describe a single, specific adhesive, but rather a variety of different adhesives that are all melted and applied with heat.

Everyone, from a one-person assembly shop to major corporations, can use ho melt adhesives. Hot-melt setups can vary from an individual applying adhesive with a basic hand-held glue gun costing a few dollars, to high-speed automatic machinery costing hundreds of thousands of dollars capable of applying hot melt to thousands of pieces per hour. A huge range of options exist when it comes to the available types of hot melt adhesives, as well as equipment and application protocols.

When you think of hot melt adhesives, your mind may naturally jump to their use in packaging. Cartons, corrugated cases, protective packaging, and other packaging applications rely heavily on hot melts to keep things together and contained. The reality is that hot melts are used in all types of assembly processes, from credit cards, clothing, cabinetry, carpet and cars to shoes, stamps, carpet, windows, golf clubs, picture frames and much more. Hot melt adhesives have an endless number of applications.

It is important to make the right choice for your application because hot melt adhesives are typically not a “one-size-fits-all” product. Ensuring that a hot melt adhesive will effectively bond your materials is a major consideration, but not the only one. It is also helpful to explore all aspects of the product, including softening point, open time and other characteristics, to find the hot melt adhesive that is ideal for your specific application.

Choosing a hot melt adhesive based on sticking power alone can be risky. One company recently had to throw out many of its high-end direct mail pieces because the hot melt adhesive that was used to temporarily bond a credit card-type material to a brochure had, over an extended period of time, begun staining the brochure. The company eventually selected a fugitive, removable hot melt that would not stain when applied with the correct temperature, quantity and method. The company’s high-end pieces now have a much longer shelf life, thanks to the selection of the correct hot melt adhesive and the appropriate application parameters.Hot Melt Adhesive