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Tips for Using Different Types of Hot Melt Film


As with other types of adhesives such as liquid, paste and powder, hot melt film and hot melt adhesive have numerous application methods. Because the compositions of hot melt films vary, each application method varies according to the film’s medium, as a result, some applications are well-suited to certain methods over others. Hot melt films are specifically for use on flat surfaces, while hot melt adhesives have a much broader range of applications. A description of each application method and appropriate use is offered below.

Dry hot melt films offer several advantages because of their medium. The lack of mixing makes the application process relatively clean, and it doesn’t produce much waste. There are low emissions and environmental concerns associated with hot melt film application, and the equipment is typically inexpensive.

Hot melt film traits can vary depending on the exact type of adhesive. Typically, hot melt adhesives are heat-activated, solvent-activated, or pressure sensitive, with some films featuring a supportive mat.

When preparing to apply a hot melt film, the component should first be coated with a primer, which can be air-sprayed or applied using manufacturer recommended equipment. Primer thickness should be considered because it will affect how strongly the adhesive bonds to the component. Once the primer coating has air dried, application of the film can begin.

Depending on the type of film, the adhesive layer is applied using one of several methods. Typically, application begins with removing the protective supportive mat and a layer of protective film. Next, the film is laid flat on the component’s surface, though it’s important to make sure that the film doesn’t wrinkle or trap any air. For solvent-activated films, a solvent is wiped on the film (care should be taken not to use too much solvent), and then pressure is used to enable the film to adhere to the component. Heat-activated films must be heated to properly adhere to a component.