What is an adhesive?

Adhesives are substances used to bind one surface to another and provide separation resistance. Several kinds of efficient, effective industrial adhesives are on the market today to be used for various industries and applications.

Before purchasing adhesives, it’s important to understand the types, their classifications based on properties and composition, their cure — or hardening — mechanisms and their most common uses.

Various types of adhesives

There are various types of adhesives, but they are not all adhesives are created equal. From Resins, to contact spray, we offer adhesives for a variety of uses.

  • Resins - Polymers created synthetically. They can be thermosetting, where the remold is ready at hot temperatures, or thermostatic, where they cannot be remolded after completed curing process.
  • Hot melt - Can be hardened or softened with cold or heat at any time. It offers quick bonding between materials and allows for error correction through changeability.

  • Anaerobic Adhesive - This type of adhesive is often used for industrial applications. Theydon’t require oxygen or air to set and can form tight seals without light, oxygen or heat. Anaerobic adhesives can bond with ceramic, elastomers, paper, masonry, plastic, wood, glass, rubber and fabric.
  • Contact Spray - Waterproof and transparent, contact spray allows the user to bond items permanently or temporarily. It works on uneven and porous surfaces, is flexible, doesn’t stain and is eco-friendly due to a lack of chlorinated ingredients.
  • Acrylic - Some time is required for acrylic to set and dry, which uses a radical mechanism with two individual components that mix together for a bonding feature. Solvent and emulsion types exist, as well.
  • Epoxy Adhesives - Widely used in several industries like automobile, aircraft and plywood manufacturing, epoxy adhesive cure fast and bond concrete surfaces.
  • Pressure Adhesives - Pressure adhesives are popular, common and efficient. They require pressure to bond surfaces together.
  • Conductive - Conductive adhesives are used in industries that need to avoid electrostatic discharges and unwanted radio/electromagnetic interference.
  • Urethane Adhesives - Thermoplastic or Thermoset, urethane adhesives provide the highest performance and have the greatest versatility. Many types of urethane adhesives are conventional one-pack or two-pack systems, moisture-cure urethanes, urethane sealants, fire-stopping, and caulking.

Home renovation, wooden stairs fix with polyurethane spray gun

Common uses for adhesives

Understanding which industries use adhesives the most heavily and for what applications is the first step toward choosing whether you need them for your business. Below are a few examples of industries that use adhesives, and which type(s) they tend to lean toward.

Paper board and other packaging products

In industries that create packaging made of paper, cardboard and other materials, professionals need the right adhesives to ensure the packaging will hold throughout transport and storage. While some adhesives work best with porous materials, others are perfect for non-porous varieties. Finding the right adhesive to work with particular packaging is the first step toward successful production.

Dry and wet lamination

With wet-bond lamination, two substrates are laminated. One of them is porous like paper. Foil and paper, for example, could be attached through wet bonding. Adhesive materials are dried through an oven once the two are attached. The two substrates must be combined before the adhesive is dried. With dry-bond lamination, both substrates are non-porous and impervious to any type of filtration. Film on foil, for instance, would need an adhesive that could be applied to one and dried in an oven before combination with the second substrate.

Tile work

High-gloss laminating for graphic arts

High-gloss laminating adhesives help companies create a graphic arts product with an impressive visual appeal that interests customers and catches their eye. Dispersion adhesives through the dry-lamination process are typically used, and they are often solvent-free and single-component.

Bookbinding in the graphic arts industry

With bookbinding in graphic arts, it’s important to have pages put together with adhesive that doesn’t show up or change the aesthetic of the overall product. Choosing from a variety of adhesives with different properties, appearances, effects, and application processes helps to ensure the look and feel manufacturers want.

Non-woven fabrics

Non-woven fabrics — such as surgical gowns, shoe covers, gloves, vacuum bags, landfill liners, shopping bags, tarps, certain automotive components and many others — go through different manufacturing processes depending on needed characteristics. One way uses adhesives to bond fabric.

Pressure sensitive products

Manufacturers use pressure adhesives in packaging, printing, bindery, mail and more. The applied pressure allows bonding between dissimilar materials.

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