What are the advantages of hot-melt adhesives?

Choosing the right adhesive is an important decision for all manufacturers. It can play a make-or-break role in the performance of products, and ultimately, affect the productivity and profitability of the business. That’s why we’ve put together a list of key benefits for hot-melt glues - one of the most popular and growing industrial adhesive technologies in use today.

What is a hot-melt adhesive?

Formulated with synthetic polymers, hot melts are a thermoplastic adhesive that becomes liquid at elevated temperatures – typically between 120° and 160°C - and sets upon cooling. Unlike solvent- or water-based materials, they are 100% solid formulations and inert, making them exceptionally easy to handle, store and transport.

Benefits of hot-melt adhesives

1. Increased production value

Optimised to enhance manufacturing productivity, hot melts are thermally stable, ensuring minimal charring and reduced nozzle blockages – helping to boost production uptime. They are easy to set up, provide consistent application, reduce material waste, and are ideally suited for high volume production.

2. Enhanced product performance

Derived from specially engineered polymers, hot melts provide an almost unlimited range of customisation options, making them suitable for a diverse set of industries and applications. Because they resist extreme temperature fluctuations – during shipping or storage, for example – they can be used in challenging environments, and yet still provide durable and consistent bonding.

3. Overall cost effectiveness

Clean running hot melts - such as BAMFutura™ - minimise the build-up of char or gel and do not, therefore, lead to clogged hoses and nozzles which, in turn, means less stoppages, less cleaning, and ultimately the avoidance of costs associated with buying new applicator equipment.

Excellent mileage allows manufacturers to create more with less, and to deliver greater value with less input – minimising waste and boosting resource efficiency. When stored and treated correctly, hot melts have an exceptionally long shelf life, further reducing waste and cost.

4. Safety and Health

Elimination of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a key safety benefit of using 100% solid hot-melt adhesives. Unlike solvent-based glues HMAs do not produce harmful vapours that can potentially irritate skin, eyes and lungs - and do not, therefore, necessitate investment in expensive extractor equipment. Disposal of HMAs has few or no environmental precautions.

5. Sustainability

Hot melts can be formulated using a high percentage of raw materials from plants and other forestry materials – most often plant resins or rubbers – which helps businesses to reduce their carbon footprint. HMAs can also be customised for environmentally friendly applications: alkali washable labelling adhesives, vegan-friendly glues, or adhesives for pallet stabilisation, being recent examples.

6. Versatility

Operating successfully on slow and fast machines, and during all seasons, hot-melt adhesives are easy to store, handle and are suitable for a variety of applications, with one HMA often suitable for several jobs – helping to reduce inventory.

Different types of HMA’s are tailored to the needs of different industries and environments, with EVA based glues widely used in the packaging sector, metallocene products chosen for their excellent thermal stability, and PSAs used where a tacky, pressure activated glue is required.

Future hot melt developments

The growing availability of biodegradable polymers will likely support the introduction of new environmentally friendly adhesives, which is the subject of one of our recent blog articles.

For further information on our range of hot-melt adhesives, contact us by sending an email to: marketing@beardowadams.com or visit the contact us page.


Download our Advantages of Hot-Melt Adhesives infographic

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