(Courtesy of The German Adhesives Association (IVK))
Adhesives and sealants are products that everyone needs, from babies to elderly people. From diapers to hearing aids, people need adhesives and sealants regardless of age or phase of life.
Strictly spoken, our use of adhesive begins even before we are born. Of course, we do not sit in the womb with a mini glue stick making a welcome gift for mom. However, the gynecologist’s instrument works with adhesives. Without adhesives, there would be no prenatal screening, no ultrasound picture and, of course, mom and dad would not know whether they're expecting a baby boy or a baby girl.
Once junior has seen the light of day, adhesives become truly indispensable. Thanks to adhesives, a baby's "business" is today no longer such a chore. While generations of mothers despaired over piles of dirty diapers, modern moms can use handy disposable diapers. Speaking of baby cleaning, those moist wipes used to clean that rosy little bottom? They are glued together using thin layers of adhesive! And so it goes from kindergarten to school.
A toddler’s first craft project is put together using glue sticks, which are, of course, solvent free. And then come lovingly produced pictures for Christmas, Easter and birthdays which all parents and grandparents appreciate. Likewise, dollhouses, toy cars and rocking horses are put together with glue, although perhaps not by the children themselves. And when a child’s play horse loses its tail after a wild ride tears may fall, but they will swiftly dry once the friend has been repaired with glue.
And what about young people? Posters can easily be fastened to walls using removable adhesive - without drilling holes or driving the parents nuts. Cell phones can be used for long talks, text messaging and, of course games, but they too work thanks to adhesive, more precisely with adhesive films which sometimes even transmit power and offer thermal insulation properties. What is more, computer games and music downloads would be impossible without adhesives.
Once children spread their wings, they will move to their own apartment - a difficult undertaking without the use of adhesive tape and wallpaper paste. And, don't forget about sealants that are used both inside and outside one's home or apartment to seal out the elements of nature and help maximize a dwelling's energy efficiency (increasingly important today!). Further, packing cases would have to be carried from door to door or transported by horse-drawn carriage if there were no adhesives. Why is that? The moving van - like all cars - is assembled using adhesives.
In professional life, adhesives ensure smooth processes. From computers to pocket calculators to briefcases - everything is glued together. What about stationery? The seams of envelopes and stamps are held in place thanks to adhesive. To ensure that in the hassle of everyday business nothing is neglected - while the phone rings and the doorbell buzzes (also glued together!) - you use adhesive notes.
After retirement, adhesives are handy helpers as well. Now there is enough time to pave the terrace - using tile adhesive - or repair leaky tiles in the bathroom or the kitchen using a silicone sealant. With wood glue, spray glue and super-glue grandparents and grandchildren can create beautiful model landscapes or cute bird houses. And if grandpa should take a tumble, some bone cement would help fasten a new hip joint. Ensuring that grandpa won’t be out of action for long.
Life without adhesives? Simply forget about it!