Summary of Waterbased
Adhesives Technology Review
The following summarizes the major findings for waterbased 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 may be achieved by implementing waterbased adhesive technologies. (Ref. 6)
CASE STUDIES: Helpful case study information was found in a report published by the EPA’s National Risk Management Research Laboratory titled: "Solvent-Based to Waterbased Adhesive-Coated Substrate Retrofit Volume 3: Label Manufacturing Case Study (Nashua Corporation)" and "Volume 4: Film and Label Manufacturing Case Study (FLEXcon Company). General case study information describing the implementation of alternatives is also available and can be found in periodicals like Adhesives Age or the TAPPI Proceedings, or from adhesive suppliers.
EVALUATION: When comparing 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, 4, 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 waterbased adhesives, 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 radiant-cured adhesives, such as regulatory and energy costs. Research and demonstrations of technical and operational improvements of alternatives would also be helpful to manufacturers considering conversion to alternative adhesive technologies including waterbased adhesives.
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