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Apply Hot Melt Adhesive with Tank-free System


As a matter of fact, one of the most apparent weaknesses of traditional hot melt adhesive systems lies in the tanks themselves. As described in previous article, these tanks take a lot of time to heat material, generate adhesive char, and expose operators to potentially dangerous hot adhesive.

Systems that do not incorporate these tanks instead use a vacuum feed to draw adhesive pellets into specially designed heating chambers. Pellets are melted on demand and are dispensed quickly, without overheating. The elimination of heated tanks dramatically improves hot melt equipment performance. By reducing the amount of adhesive exposed to heat, this process allows for faster heating times.

For instance, one tankless system can warm adhesive to operating temperature in less than 10 min. This is due to the greater surface area to volume ratio - a measure that compares the heated surface area in a melter to the adhesive volume contained in that melter. In this case, more surface area with less volume indicates the system will warm up faster and melt adhesive quicker. While traditional heated tanks store anywhere from 4 to 50 L of adhesive material, tank-free designs heat less than 2 L of adhesive at a time. Decreased start-up time makes a great difference in production uptime and yield over the course of a hot melt system’s lifetime, and therefore translates directly into greater profitability.

The shortened exposure of the adhesive to heat in vacuum-based tank-free systems also reduces the amount of char formation within the system. Quite simply, less time at temperature results in less hot melt adhesive char. With a minimal melted volume, hot melt adhesive is dispensed quickly and replenished with a fresh supply. The reduction of char leads to less material waste, fewer nozzle plugs, less overall system maintenance, longer fluid seal life, and less production line downtime.

All of these benefits spell out improved operator conditions as well. With a tank-free system, an operator no longer has to hand-fill hot melt pellets and the task of tank scraping is eliminated. The elimination of the heated tank and reduced operator interaction with the system decreases the chance of burns and other injury, while reduced odor provides an overall better operator experience.

Finally, the use of a vacuum feed system keeps the ambient adhesive contained and closed from the outside environment. This dramatically reduces the chances of material contamination. Preventing contaminants from the hot melt adhesive improves the dispensing process and helps to ensure consistent adhesive application.