You’ve got a number of choices in both adhesive and application types when developing your product assembly system – but only one best choice. Picking a suboptimal solution may not sound like your biggest worry, but it can lead to unnecessary damage- and return-related expenses over the long term – not to mention impairing consumer trust.
Take a moment to learn about the benefits offered by hot melt extrusion, and whether it might be the right fit for your manufacturing needs.
How Melt Adhesives Stack Up Against the Competition
Melt adhesives were developed primarily as an alternative to the water-based adhesives that were the norm in the 1940s. The problem with such adhesives is that they weaken tremendously with prolonged exposure to water – even the humidity in the air. Realistically, most products are going to encounter some kind of moisture during shipping as well as in regular use, so the need for an alternative was quite real.
Hot melt adhesives deliver in a strong way, offering strong and resilient bonds at a very low cost. They’re widely used today in electronics, packaging, furniture, automobiles, and even home construction. And while their one disadvantage is a vulnerability to extreme heat, most high-performance formulas today have been engineered to easily resist the temperatures that your adhesives can reasonably be expected to encounter.
Extrusion vs. Spray Application
So you’ve decided that melt adhesives are the correct choice for your product assembly purposes – now it’s a question of how to best apply them. The primary choices are extrusion (and slot-coating, itself a subset of extrusion) or via spray nozzles.
The choice is going to depend largely on the underlying materials that you intend to bond together. Melt adhesives can be extruded in onto the substrate, usually in dots or other patterns. This method excels in cost-effectiveness, and typically offers unparalleled bond strength, making it a common selection. But note, for instance, that it may not be the best choice for bonding foams – a material with lower surface strength than, say, wood or plastic. When working with delicate and/or mixed components, the application of thin adhesive layers via spray nozzle may be the better option.
Assess your needs and choose accordingly: ultimately, the most economical choice is the one that results in a quality product with fewer returns or losses.
At Sure Tack Systems, we provide customized adhesive assembly solutions tailored to your needs. Pick up the phone today and call 770-926-3419, or contact us online.