Hot Melt Adhesives vs. Solvent Based Adhesives

Solvent based adhesives use the chemical reaction caused by mixing two or more components to create a binding glue that hardens as it dries. Hot melt adhesives on the other hand utilize a single substance, usually a thermoplastic, which has been heated to melting point and then applied. While solvent based adhesives are commonly used in many traditional industrial applications, newer hot melt adhesives are rapidly displacing them due to their better productivity, lower price point and environmental cleanliness.


Hot Melt Adhesives are More Productive

Hot melt adhesives have been the sealant of choice in the packing and converting industry for decades, due to their ability to provide clean cut off, high seal life and minimized tailing in high speed applications. But as the weight bearing capacities of newer hot melt adhesives increase, so does their use in industries that traditionally required the heavier sealing power of solvent based products. This is because hot melt adhesives harden quicker than solvent based adhesives, meaning they allow for higher production speeds and faster assembly times. It is also possible to reheat and then reseal or reconfigure an item that was bound with hot melt adhesives, making repairs and adjustments more efficient as well.


Hot Melt Adhesives are Potentially Cheaper

Whether you need a quality binder for domestic furniture products or heavy duty construction projects, chances are investing in a hot melt system is going to be less expensive in the long run. It is true that solvent based adhesives are available in ready to use tubes and hot melt adhesive systems require a heating device and therefore an additional investment. But for anyone who will be using adhesives on a regular basis, the lower cost of the thermoplastic materials used in the hot melt adhesive systems should more than make up for any perceived initial savings using solvent adhesives fairly quickly. For industrial manufacturers of any industry, investing in one of our Sure Tack System units can mean big savings in a short amount of time.


Hot Melt Adhesives are Greener and Safer

Another big issue with solvent based adhesive systems revolves around concerns about workplace safety. According to a report prepared for Cal/EPA’s Department of Toxic Substances Control on the safety of substances used by home woodworkers, solvent based adhesives are one of the most potentially toxic. The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) used as solvents in these adhesives give off emissions that are potentially carcinogenic according to the report, and those that work with them are often exposed to unhealthy levels. These VOCs also contribute to air pollution, including smog, and can contaminate the air around a workplace that uses them.


Call Sure Tack Systems today at (800) 580-2803 to find out more about our hot melt adhesive systems!