While most people may not think about adhesives that much, they are quite literally the glue that holds everything together, and for some a very important tool for their jobs or their hobbies. Without adhesives, the world would not be as we know it. Virtually everything we use in our everyday lives benefits of them one way or another. Every industry uses adhesives or objects that were manufactured thanks to adhesives, whether it’s manufacturing, transport, construction, fashion, packaging, retail and any business you can think of.
There is a wide range of different adhesives, made of a variety of ingredients and with different formulas, which come with their own sets of properties that make them suitable for different industries, for different materials and different applications. Some of them are intended for heavier or lighter-duty use, some create stronger bonds than others, some provide more lasting bonds than others, some set faster than others.
Hot melt adhesives aren’t meant for heavy-duty applications, but for some types of jobs across several industries, they are the best options. Whether you are in the packaging or retail industry and you need to expand or improve your packaging equipment, or you are someone who is into arts and crafts, someone who likes to work around the house or you have a hobby like model building or wood making, hot melt glue might be just the thing for you.
Hot melt adhesive is a widely used type of glue, which, as one could deduce by its name, glues things together by melting under high temperatures. Hot glues are thermoplastic polymer-based adhesives, and they are some of the most diverse adhesives on the market. However, even though they come in various forms and methods of delivery, the most popular option are so-called hot glue sticks that the user melts slowly with an industrial glue gun designed to apply the glue directly on the surface where it needs to be. These sticks are made by combining polymers and additives and cooling off the mixture, which is then shaped into the form of a stick.
Hot Melt Glue Sticks
Under the high temperature produced by the industrial glue gun, the hot glue passes through a nozzle. This way, the gun not only ensures precision and accuracy, but also safety, by protecting the user from getting burned by the melted glue. Typically, the gun can either be triggered to start melting the glue sticks by finger pressure, or by a trigger mechanism, and within just a few seconds after it has been melted, the hot glue moves through the nozzle to the surface, where it’s supposed to be, after which it dries and solidifies creating a strong and durable bond.
All of this also makes the gun very convenient and easy to handle, which is why it’s not only good for commercial uses. Aside from professionals, many everyday people, artists, hobbyists, DIY enthusiasts, and so on, use hot glue gun sticks for a variety of applications, like arts and crafts and model building. This delivery system also ensures that you won’t waste more glue than you need, saving you money.
Properties of Hot Melt Adhesive
Many things make hot melted glues such a popular choice for both commercial and home use. One of the things that set them apart and makes them so useful is that they can work on a wide variety of materials, both porous and non-porous, including paper, cartoon, polystyrene foam, plastics, organic substrates, wood, metal, glass, ceramics and so on. And, more importantly, they create strong and long-lasting bonds. Hot glues can even bond between dissimilar materials, which makes them even more convenient.
Another very important advantage of hot melt glue is that it is very easy to use and it provides some of the fastest methods of delivery. For instance, when you use hot glue gun sticks the adhesive melts fast, it’s applied fast and it also cools down and sets fast. Hot-melt glues have a high viscosity, which makes them perfect for uneven surfaces, but also for filling gaps and creating seals. It creates very strong and long-lasting bonds. Plus, it doesn’t lose thickness when it’s applied to the surface.
All of the characteristics of these glues make them suitable for several applications. Some of these applications include packaging, cartoon-making, bookbinding, shoe-making, bonding porous materials like fabrics, wires, parts of electronic devices, model building, crafting, creating art, woodworking, construction, tile installation and many more. Nevertheless, different varieties are made to be used on different types of materials, which makes these glues quite versatile and convenient across many industries.
Besides, there are some hot melt glues meant for specific uses. The most common types of hot glues are polyurethane (PUR), ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), polyamide (PA), polypropylene (PP). Some varieties may create a stronger bond, some may provide more protection against moisture or UV radiation. Also, different formulas may work better for different materials, different hot glues may need different amounts of time to set, and so on. Those intended for industrial use, however, typically provide more strength, and they are more resistant to heat.