Pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) is a form of adhesive that bonds two or more materials together as pressure is applied to them. The strength of the bond depends on the amount of pressure applied. No heat, water or solvent is required to activate the adhesive. This type of adhesive is used for labels, notepads, vehicle trim, and some adhesive tapes. PSAs are designed to maintain a bond at room temperatures.
What Happens to PSAs in Cold Temperatures?
The performance of an adhesive depends on its wettability, which means its ability to make full contact and coverage of the substrates it is bonding. PSAs are sensitive to lower temperatures. They will decrease the adhesive’s flexibility and reduce their wettability. When the temperature becomes very low, the adhesive will become brittle and will not produce any stickiness. The recommended temperature range for applying PSAs to substrates is between 59-95°F. Within this temperature range, the PSA will remain viscous enabling optimum surface wetting.
PSAs Designed for Low Temperatures
These days, many applications require adhesives that can maintain at temperatures below -25°C, frozen food packaging for example. Cutting edge PSAs are being developed using non-traditional polymer bases, such as like styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS). These polymers enable the adhesives to maintain tack and elasticity well at low temperatures.
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