Hot Melt Adhesive Systems Offer Benefits to a Variety of Industries

Posted on 3/29/2018 12:24:18 PM By ASC

The list of industries which have found hot melt adhesives useful is a long one and includes the printing, packaging, manufacturing, automotive, construction, and textiles industries. The sheer versatility of hot melt adhesives assures their popularity. However, the work volume, the substrates to be bonded, and the working environment will affect the equipment, systems and product choice.

Benefits of hot melt adhesives include a long shelf-life, reversible bonding, and rapid curing. There’s also no need to use additional solvents. All that’s needed is the correct temperature.

Commonly used hot melt adhesives include:

  • Ethylene Vinyl Acrylate (EVA) widely used in the packaging industry.
  • Polyethylene (PE) which is less frequently used today than formerly owing to its limitations.
  • PSA, or pressure sensitive adhesives, that require heat for activation.
  • Metallocene, a new generation of polyethylene adhesive which is catalysed using metals.
  • Polyamide, which offers high-strength, flexible bonding that is oil and heat resistant.
  • Rubber, which may offer benefits over EVA in certain contexts.
  • Polyurethane (PUR), which tolerates heat and cold, but cannot be melted again.

Apart from offering a wide range of bonding alternatives, hot melts are popular in industry owing to environmental friendliness, product safety, improved production line efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.

Various formulations exist. Depending on individual circumstances, manufacturers can choose between pelletized adhesives, pillows of adhesive, slats or barbs, and wrapped bricks or cakes of hot-melt adhesive. In the latest production line equipment, there is no storage tank for melted adhesive. Instead, the system sucks up pellets and melts them as needed. This eliminates adhesive waste and will reduce the need for equipment maintenance.

The simple glue gun is adequate for small-scale work, but in industry, equipment that can handle large-scale adhesive applications is needed. A variety of applicator approaches exists: wheels, screens, nozzles, extruders, slot dies, spiral sprays and melt blowers are chosen by manufacturers according to the needs of their operation.

Hot melt dispensing systems utilizing the latest technologies can help manufacturers to realize significant cost-savings while improving workplace safety conditions, boosting efficiency, and generating an accurate record of material use and cost for process control and monitoring.

Prominent manufacturers of dispensing and related equipment include Nordson, K-Series, Robatech, Graco, Valco Melton, Cox, Datco, ITW Dynatec, Meltex, Slautterback, Union Tool, and Statomix.

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