Building & Construction

One of the largest market areas for adhesives and sealants is in Building/Construction. There are a myriad of applications where these products are used, including:

  •  Carpet Layment
  •  Ceramic Tile
  •  Concrete
  •  Countertop Lamination
  •  Flooring Underlayment
  •  Drywall Lamination
  •  Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning
  •  Joint Cements
  •  Manufactured Housing
  •  Pre-finished Panels
  •  Resilient Flooring
  •  Roofing
  •  Wall Covering

Bonded Houses

Today, architectural masterpieces or multi-story apartment houses are made from timber which is glued together, and is also a renewable building material. Thanks to latest adhesive technology, this is the most sustainable and the safest way to build a house.

Scandinavia and the USA have a history of timber buildings and now, the Germans have started building houses using this traditional material. Today every fifth house is constructed from timber, which has made many other materials completely superfluous. Even load-bearing structures are made from wood or, more precisely, wood plus an adhesive, a composite of various layers of timber which are glued together under pressure. The result is an absolutely stable element of any length and thickness. Curved components can also be manufactured by laminating wood with a suitable adhesive. A single-component polyurethane adhesive (i.e. PUR) allows for adhesive bonds which are environmentally safe, not harmful to health and, what's more, invisible. The special adhsive reacts with the moisture contained in the wood. As an alternative to conventional glue used for this type of application, this new adhesive technology does without solvents or formaldehyde. This gives a grat indoor environmental quality together with outstanding comfort of living and a unique design. A prominent example is "Chesa Futura" (i.e. house of the future) in St. Moritz. For this remarkable building, to begin with, architect Lord Norman Foster had all load-bearing timber components pre-fabricated from glued timber elements and then assembled onsite.

Adhesives in Flooring: Get a Grip!

Trampled under foot - can you imagine what carpet, parquet, linoleum and the like have to endure? Every day, people trip, scamper, shuffle, trudge and tramp on them. Sometimes in high heels, sometimes with rug-ged boots or other heavy foot-wear. Of course, the adhesive underneath the floor surface has to endure these loads as well.

"Where you find the ground, spread something good on it", said the Swiss poet and philosopher John CasparLavater. True, he probably was not thinking about floor coatings, nor carpeting, PVC coatings and related adhesives. These surfaces are subject to a permanent load, particularly in public buildings. That said, quality is not a luxury but of the essence. Rubber coatings in airports and railway stations have to resist loads comparable to several herds of hippos, elephants and rhinos crossing.

Every day, armies of passengers, pilots, flight attendants and train conductors lug their baggage over them. Furthermore, floors and adhesives both have to stand up to other demands placed during regular cleaning using heavy machines and rotating brushes. Usually elastomer covering can be glued using dispersion adhesive which is selected to match the covering type. If the floor is subject to a load, as is customary in railway stations or airports, they are glued with resin adhesives. Finally, temperature variations, solar radiation, moisture or heavy equipment as used for damp cleaning, add on to these strains.

Likewise, floors in hospitals are subject to major loads as well. Wheel chairs and meal carts compress floor material and adhesives together. What is more, in the surgery and intensive care units, adhesive and floor coating have to conduct electricity. This as applies too for all rooms where major IT equipment is housed. The machines must be grounded to the floor.

In residential buildings, carpet, laminate, cork and adhesives are exposed to less harsh conditions. Still furniture castors and floor heating challenge material resistance. And the adhesive definitely has to hold up if junior decides to practice roller-skating on the carpet while mom is out shopping!

Bringing Color to Your Walls

Walls are like chameleons - whether you want the ambience of the Mediterranean with rich ocher or terracotta tones or the sensibility of modern design with cool colors — wallpaper is the answer. No other accessory can influence the atmosphere of your home like wallpaper; it really shows off the personality of the inhabitants. A new phase of life can often begin with a change of wallpaper. And modern wallpaper paste ensures a smooth transition.

Wallpapering makes it simple. With a change of wallpaper, you can change a child’s room into the room of a teenager, give your dingy apartment a homey feel, or make your row house into a real family home. However, the old-fashioned wallpapering methods are a thing of the past. Thanks to modern wallpaper and paste. Modern wallpaper paste still uses methylcellulose and starch - of course, both natural substances and both nontoxic. Often other resins and materials to facilitate application and increase viscosity were added.

The type of paste depends on the kind of wallpaper used. Modern fashion prefers fleece wall -- which is especially long-lasting and can be dry-stripped -- provided the right glue is used! Fleece wallpaper comes in numerous designs, patterns and surface textures. Many manufacturers offer them with textures that range from crushed velvet to metallic and matte finishes or even shimmering glass beads. Paste for fleece wallpaper can be applied directly to the wall, and the wallpaper can be easily unrolled and directly hung.

In this case, the paste must have a high initial adhesive strength, but at the same time it must be remain adjustable for a while. Additionally, for every wallpaper job there is a specialized wallpaper paste. As old walls are extremely absorbent and new walls absorb very little moisture, special products are offered which regulate the amount of moisture absorbed. There is even paste for frequently papered, uneven walls which can be smoothed over in the one step like a wallpaper spatula; then the paper can be applied in the second step.

Amazing, what a little methylcellulose and starch can do!

Additional Resources

Strategic Solutions: Construction Review (Article courtesy ASI magazine)
The U.S. housing market enjoyed an unprecedented expansion in 2000-2005. More than 8.6 million new single-family houses were constructed, and the value of all private residential construction over that time period was $4.3 trillion, according to government census data. Residential construction and expanding rehab and remodeling markets helped push the total market size for adhesives used in residential and commercial construction to more than $1.6 billion in 2006. However, recent pressure on the housing market has caused a dramatic downturn in the residential-construction industry, which could threaten adhesive growth. Learn more.

Polyurethane Adhesives for Modern Structural Wood Construction (Article courtesy ASI magazine)
The use of wood in the construction industry is currently experiencing a renaissance. New joining methods and construction principles, as well as the discovery of the classic material for modern architectural solutions, have opened up new possibilities for building with wood. No longer relegated to home construction, wood is now used for office and administrative buildings, schools, multi-family dwellings, bridges, theaters, and even transmission towers. This trend is being fostered by the lumber industry’s evolution from a pure handcraft to the industrial production of semi-finished goods that can be joined quickly and precisely on-site to form larger elements, making the construction of large and architecturally interesting structures fast and economical. Learn more.