Safely store and handle hot-melt adhesives

Mastering the safe storage and use of adhesives can help you to avoid costly accidents and downtime in production. It can also ensure product performance is maintained and adhesive waste is kept to a minimum. As an adhesive manufacturer, we’ve created this concise, yet comprehensive guide to help you understand the key factors involved in managing adhesives.

How to properly store hot-melt adhesives:

One of the major advantages of hot-melt adhesives is their extended shelf-life. Hot melts can maintain their performance capabilities for two or more years, which helps reduce costs from discarding unused, expired products. To ensure this prolonged shelf life, adhere to these guidelines:

  • Store hot melts in a clean, dry place at temperatures between 5°C and 30°C.
  • Keep containers tightly closed and rotate stock as necessary.
  • Refer to the adhesive manufacturer's technical data sheet for specific storage instructions.

Safety considerations for handling hot-melt adhesives:

When used properly, hot melts are safe and easy-to-handle, providing a system that can be customised for various application requirements, including different line speeds and environments. Nevertheless, it's essential to:

  • Review the manufacturer's safety data sheet to understand potential hazards and provide necessary training and personal protective equipment.
  • Provide suitable clothing, as well as hand, face, and eye protection to prevent thermal burns resulting from skin contact.
  • Use hot melts at recommended temperatures (typically between 120°C and 180°C) and avoid overheating or prolonged heating.
  • Prevent direct contact with flames, electrical sparks, and static discharge. In case of a fire, use dry chemical powder, CO2 extinguisher, sand, or earth.

Ventilation and health considerations:

Although hot melts are generally non-toxic, using them in well-ventilated areas is advised to prevent potential chemical breakdown of components due to overheating. This breakdown may release a complex mixture of organic materials that can irritate the respiratory system in some individuals, though they are not considered harmful.

Maintenance and cleaning of hot melt equipment

Investing in equipment maintenance promotes a safe work environment and safeguards operators from injuries. Regular maintenance also optimises adhesive performance by preventing the accumulation of char, which can block filters and nozzles, mark substrates, and lead to uneven adhesive application. Implement the following maintenance schedule to prevent these issues:

  • Perform daily checks on hot melt equipment to remove debris and identify cracks.
  • Ensure that the application temperature aligns with the adhesive manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Keep nozzles clean and replace them every 3-4 months.
  • Replace the filter assembly after six months.
  • Clean and fully drain hot melt tanks at least twice a year.

Looking for hot-melt adhesive management assistance?

Successfully storing, handling, and using hot melts is a powerful way to optimise adhesive performance while curbing waste and equipment failures. Moreover, it’s vital for preventing workplace accidents. For more information or guidance on safe adhesive management, contact our hot melt experts today at

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