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Use Hot Melt Adhesives to Cut Overall Cost

Date:11-07-2016


Hot melt adhesive also known as hot glue, is a form of thermoplastic adhesive that is commonly supplied in solid cylindrical sticks of various diameters, designed to be melted in an electric hot glue gun. The gun uses a continuous-duty heating element to melt the plastic glue, which the user pushes through the gun either with a mechanical trigger mechanism on the gun, or with direct finger pressure. The glue squeezed out of the heated nozzle is initially hot enough to burn and even blister skin. The glue is tacky when hot, and solidifies in a few seconds to one minute. Hot melt adhesives can also be applied by dipping or spraying.

In industrial use, hot melt adhesives provide several advantages over solvent-based adhesives. Volatile organic compounds are reduced or eliminated, and the drying or curing step is eliminated. Hot melt adhesives have long shelf life and usually can be disposed of without special precautions.

Some of the disadvantages involve thermal load of the substrate, limiting use to substrates not sensitive to higher temperatures, and loss of bond strength at higher temperatures, up to complete melting of the adhesive. This can be reduced by using a reactive adhesive that after solidifying undergoes further curing e.g., by moisture (e.g., reactive urethanes and silicones), or is cured by ultraviolet radiation. Some HMAs may not be resistant to chemical attacks and weathering. HMAs do not lose thickness during solidifying; solvent-based adhesives may lose up to 50-70% of layer thickness during drying.

Different types of hot-melt adhesives include Ethyl Vinyl Acetate or EVA copolymers, Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene or SBS copoymers, Styrene-Ispoprene-Styrene or SIS copolymers, Polurethane Reactive or PUR, Ethylene Ethyl Acrylate copolymers or EEA. These polymers need additional material for making them perfectly adhesive. A polymer property can be enhanced by adding waxes, plasticizers, antioxidants and other materials. Textiles to labels, to disposable products, many industries utilize hot-melt adhesives from. Glue guns are deployed in most industries, for ease of application.

A hotmelt glue gun will need PVC sticks that are melted within the gun and applied over the area for sealing. This sealing is achieved through bonding polymers and can be strengthened, when one uses additives. Antioxidants are used to avoid oxidation, which occurs due to presence of unsaturated bonds in a polymer. These days, one can find both colorless and colored adhesives. Textile industry will make use of low temperature glue guns, while a typical higher temperature gun may be needed when stronger bond is required. Bonding process must be complete, before the glue is solidified. Some guns come with option to switch temperature range. Hot melt equipments needed for bonding include hotmelt glue guns, staple guns and staples, rivet tools and rivets, glue guns and glue sticks. The right tools should be chosen based on the purpose.

There are industrial adhesive glue guns that spray the adhesive through nozzles. This uses compressed air, in order to spray the adhesive. However, if one is not quick enough, the adhesive loses its tackiness and becomes unusable. There are industries that manufacture custom guns for adhesive application. Alternate industrial adhesives, to solvent based models, the various types need to be studied and chosen based on costs of operation, power used, etc. Using hot melt technology, is considered to be cost-effective and an efficient adhesive solution.

Though this method calls for installation of heat tracking systems for safety, there's not a standard design that can be used for all industries alike. Most need to be customized depending on the industry needing industrial adhesives. Finding a manufacturer serving every industry is not difficult either. When savings are considered, capital costs can be reduced to a great extent, when using hot-melt equipments. Also, floor space needed is less, when compared to solvent based adhesives. Curing times are lesser when compared to other industrial adhesives. Thus, overall cost is reduced to a great extent, when one uses hot-melt equipments and adhesives.