Hot adhesive life hacks: what and how can be glued?

30.04.2020

In Ukraine, recent years have seen ever-growing popularity of hot adhesives produced as solid polymer granules, pellets and sticks. Hot adhesive, also known as hot melt adhesive or hot melt glue, is used in different sectors of industry and even for household use. These adhesives are called “hot” because at high temperatures the solid material becomes soft and takes the form of a viscous, thick, gel-like substance.

This kind of adhesive differs from other adhesives in both shape and color. For instance, hot melt adhesives for cabinet making or synthetic sticks can have different colors: white, amber, toffee, black, brown, yellow, etc.

What can be glued with a hot adhesive?

A hot adhesive is composed of substances ensuring adhesion properties, strength, and elasticity. They also impart a wetting capability and ensure adequate viscosity. Such adhesive components are as follows: polymers, resins and plasticizers. Due to such characteristics, the hot melt adhesive can bond different materials:

  • glass;
  • ceramics;
  • plastic;
  • foam plastic;
  • cardboard and paper;
  • wood;
  • rubber;
  • metal;
  • textiles.

What can be produced with a hot melt adhesive on an industrial scale?

Hot melt adhesives are used widely in different areas:

  • for makingcontainers and inpackaging materials;
  • for gluing labels;
  • in the production of toiletry products;
  • in woodworking and cabinet making;
  • in construction and erection work, and other areas.

The hot melt adhesive is being increasingly used when making furniture, paper and cardboard packagesand for applying labels to containers. Especially popular is the use of hot adhesives for gluing flaps when packaging foodstuffs and different articles.

Until recent times, cold-applied adhesives were used extensively in making containers, though the demand for hot melt adhesives has been growing and it is indicative of changing market trends. This kind of adhesive has a wide application range because it has a number of advantages as compared to other adhesives:

  • ensures reliable bonding of sophistic materials;
  • the hot melt adhesive is cost-effective and increases the operating effectiveness of production lines;
  • the shelf life of hot adhesives is about three years;
  • as a rule, a hot adhesive can be readily disposed of taking without special precautions;
  • the hot melt adhesive keeps its thickness during solidification;
  • it makes a material resistant to varying temperatures even during prolonged storage;
  • it is environmentally friendly and safe to use.

Since hot adhesives have certain distinguishing and unique features, we recommend taking note of advice on using a hot adhesive in production.

Life hacks for using hot adhesives in industry

  • Before using a hot adhesive, heat it with special equipment for the material to melt, and after this apply the adhesive to the surfaces to be bonded.
  • The materials to be bonded must be dry and clean.
  • Apply the adhesive at the temperature recommended by the producer.
  • The amount of adhesive applied affects the adhesion: too little adhesive results in its fast cooling and the materials have no time to bond to one another; too much adhesive hinders cooling and results in adhesive-bonded joint splitting.
  • When working with equipment, check the level of the hot adhesive in the tank and keep its cover closed.
  • Find more information on choosing an adhesive and working with hot adhesive equipment in section Recommendations

Method of applying a hot adhesive onto a surface

In production, hot adhesive is applied onto a surface using special hot adhesive equipment. The materials to be joined can be bonded with a hot adhesive by extrusion, spraying or with a roller. Adhesive choice depends on the material to be bonded, as well as on the kind of adhesive-applying equipment.

Apart from being used in industry, hot adhesive in the form of hot glue sticks is used for household purposes and in handicraft trades. Rods or sticks are melted using a special hot glue gun fitted with a heating chamber. For the solid polymer to melt, the adhesive stick is inserted into the hot glue gun casing. After the gun has heated up, the adhesive liquid mass flows via a nozzle orifice onto the surface. The adhesive solidifies in several minutes.

Life hacks for choosing and working with adhesive sticks

  • High-quality sticks ensure high productivity and good adhesion properties.
  • For different handicrafts and hobbies, color sticks and sticks with glistening speckles, which reflect on a surface, are produced.
  • Choose adhesive sticks depending on the type of the hot glue gun since the gun is very sensitive to stick diameters. The most commonly used sticks have the diameters of 7 and 11 mm, with the length varying within 7to 30 cm.
  • Before starting to work with the hot glue gun, heat it up well. Two to three minutes will suffice, though bigger industrial models need up to five minutes to heat the adhesive.
  • When bonding, use a measured amount of melt adhesive to keep the soft surface from becoming rough and to prevent adhesive overflow from adhesive joints.
  • Find more information on adhesive sticks here.

What can be made with a hot adhesive?

A hot adhesive is indispensable in decorative art. Hot adhesive is used for DIY creations. Such creations can be costume jewelry, as well as house decorations.

Hot melt adhesives are used not only for making gifts for kinsfolkbut also to fix a favorite thing, attach a loose tile or glue-up furniture edge bands.

How to choose a quality hot adhesive?

  • When choosing a hot adhesive, bear in mind the following key factors: color, structure of bonded surfaces, adhesion strength, setting time, technical characteristics of equipment, or the hot glue gun.
  • Choose an adhesive according to the application method because it defines the characteristics of the adhesive to be used.
  • Do not mix hot adhesives produced by different companies because the chemical compositions of the adhesives can differ.

The best way to choose a quality adhesive is to call on the assistance of experts. At SPE LUX-Х, technical professionals will help choose a necessary adhesive properly without delay, and with account of individual requests and demands. You can order an adhesive and get advice on the SPE LUX-Х company website by the telephone numbers indicated or via the “Contact us” button.

Find more information on hot adhesives here.

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