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IVK - German Adhesives Association: Adhesives companies are increasingly focusing on bio-renewal adhesives

The share of bio-based adhesives on the market is growing. The German adhesives industry is driving this development and working on new formulas based on renewable raw materials. In doing so, nature is being used as a model. Already Leonardo da Vinci based his flying machines on the movements of birds. Today, numerous products are based on biomimetics. Well-known examples include Velcro, which researchers copied from the burrs of the burdock plant, or echolocation from bats, which is used in parking assistant systems. Adhesives manufacturers are taking things a step further: they are not only adopting mechanical processes from nature but chemical ones as well. The aim is to establish bio-based adhesives as an equivalent replacement for mineral oil-based adhesive solutions. Already today, 15 percent of the adhesives used are made from renewable raw materials. This figure will continue to rise in the years ahead. One of the challenges lies in the technical implementation. Natural materials have much more complex chemical structures than mineral oil. That is why IVK member companies are conducting intensive research in this field. The development will increasingly result in a production process based on natural materials rather than on petrochemical raw materials. The medical field has been using bio-based adhesives successfully for years. For example, doctors use a mussel-based adhesive as an effective method to close small tears in the amniotic sac. Advantage: the adhesive contains certain proteins which are particularly well-tolerated by the body. It also works within the space of 10 to 20 seconds and can be applied very precisely.

Posted on 7/12/2017 1:30:57 PM
  • Sylvester Lim

    What are some examples of such bio-based adhesives?

    210 days ago
  • Ansgar van Halteren

    There are e.g. waterborne adhesives based on plant products like starches (potatoes, corn, rice etc.) and cellulose - especially used for wallpaper paste, in bookbinding or in paper producing/converting and textile industries. There are also waterborne adhesives based on animal products like gluten (skins, cartilage, bones, tendons) or casein (milk proteins). The so-called “animal glues” are used in wood & furniture industry, in the production of acoustic instruments, while casein adhesives are broadly used for bottle labelling. Modified starches are used for the production of glue sticks. The latest generation of bio-based adhesives are degradable and compostable hot-melt adhesives. Furthermore research projects on PU dispersions based on castor oil as a polyol component find their application in industry.

    209 days ago
  • Dev Prabhu

    Interesting, when would the degradable and compostable hot melt adhesives be available commercially?

    206 days ago
  • Ansgar van Halteren

    The adhesives industry research tirelessly in this area. The current Circular Economy discussion in the EU will accelerate the further development of degradable hot-melt adhesives.

    203 days ago

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