Hot Melt Adhesives
Technology Review Summary
The following summarizes the major findings for hot melt adhesives based on review of the literature.
COST ADVANTAGES: With all factors considered, including performance, capital equipment costs, and environmental and health benefits, significant cost savings can be achieved by implementing hot melt adhesive technologies over solvent-based systems. (Ref. 6)
CASE STUDIES: Some general, but limited, case study information describing the implementation of hot melt adhesive technologies, including PURs, is available and can be found from periodicals like Adhesives Age or the TAPPI Proceedings, reports developed by the EPA’s National Risk Management Research Laboratory, or adhesive suppliers.
EVALUATION: When comparing alternative systems, managers must take many issues into consideration, including: costs (capital equipment, raw material); performance requirements (durability and manufacturing efficiency); environmental/safety impacts (waste generation, regulatory compliance and workplace risks); energy consumption; and production requirements (floor space and operator staffing). (Ref. 2, 3, 6)
INDUSTRY TRENDS: There is increased pressure to reduce or eliminate VOC emissions from adhesive coating applications, as well as growing demand for adhesive use in high technology and specialty applications. Alternatives to solvent-based adhesives, including hot melts, are expected to increase as a result of these drivers. (Ref. 2)
RESEARCH NEEDS: More research is necessary to improve understanding of individual cost components of adhesive alternatives, such as regulatory and energy costs. Research and demonstrations of technical and operational improvements of alternatives would also be helpful for manufacturers considering conversion to alternative adhesive technologies including hot melts.
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