Gaps in Research
Research on radiant-cured adhesive alternatives to solvent-based adhesives is ongoing. There are several opportunities for further study as part of this research:
CASE STUDIES. Documented examples of large, medium, and small manufacturers that obtained quantifiable benefits such as reduced operating cost, reduced hazard insurance premiums, reduced regulatory burdens (such as avoiding Title V air permits and hazardous waste disposal charges), avoided emissions control systems, and/or reduced OSHA requirements. This information would be critical for businesses to fully compare radiant-cured alternatives to conventional solvent-based systems. In addition, since there is a wide range of industries that use adhesives, a comprehensive evaluation of adhesive options for an industry-specific area would be useful. Also valuable would be a comparison and analysis of the various alternatives to solvent-based adhesives (e.g., waterbased, hot melt, radiant-cured), to one another as well as with solvent-based adhesives.
OPERATIONAL COSTS. A comprehensive review exploring infrastructure needs and production issues for both EB and UV systems would be beneficial in overcoming barriers to adoption of radiant-cured systems in the U.S. For example, an analysis of EB systems in European markets identifying how these systems have created the necessary infrastructure for production, transportation, and equipment necessary to support the use of EB systems would be beneficial for establishing a similar infrastructure for American markets.
Comparisons of energy consumption per unit of output for solvent-based systems and radiant-cured adhesive technologies would be helpful for businesses to compare alternatives based on use and sector. Little information was available in the literature to support general statements about the energy consumption characteristics of radiant-cure systems. Additionally, a statistical analysis of the reduced regulatory and insurance costs would provide a greater depth of information for those companies interested in changing to either a UV or EB system.
Comprehensive analyses of waste reductions are also needed, as both a statistical analysis, and a case study. The analysis should include an evaluation of the actual waste reduced, as well as an analysis of the time needed to manage the various waste streams, and any costs or benefits associated with a radiant-cured system. Also, further evaluation and redesign of adhesive application equipment to reduce the amount of waste adhesive material generated during the coating process would be useful regardless of the technology chosen. (Ref. 16)
TECHNICAL IMPROVEMENTS. Research to produce lower cost radiant-cured adhesives, capable of operating at temperatures above 140 degrees F.
Research on preventing continual absorption of UV light after curing, which potentially degrades bond durability and leads to poor performance.
Finally, as another alternative to solvent-based adhesives, the further study of the use of natural adhesives, for example starch or dextrin-based adhesives in paper board packaging, including cost and performance information, would be helpful. (Ref. 6)
Continue on to the summary page of the Radiant-Cured Adhesives Technology Review.
Return to the introduction of the Radiant-Cured Adhesives Technology Review.
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