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Adhesives are grouped according to their form, origin - natural or synthetic - and their material joining method. You can make natural adhesives from plant and animal sources such as bones, hide and skin, agar, dextrin. Manufacturers count with adhesive making equipment to produce synthetic adhesives from organic compounds. They include epoxy adhesives, cyanoacrylates (or super glue), acrylic adhesives and so on.

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Reactiveness: when adhesives need special conditions for bonding

Further classification of adhesives involves their method of reaction. This implies that they may or may not need chemical reactions to harden. Reactive adhesives bond in the presence of a reactive catalyst like heat, moisture and absence of oxygen to solidify. Non-reactive adhesives harden by drying. Acrylic adhesive is reactive and you can produce it by the reaction of acrylic and methacrylic acids in the presence of a special activator, which initiates bonding. An acrylic reactor for helps get a better yield. Hot glue making can happen with batch processing, using a kettle mixer, for instance, or continuous extrusion. Adhesive making equipment automates large scale production.

Industrial production: how the adhesive making equipment design helps make quality adhesive

Solvent-based adhesives are suitable for different kinds of substrate, which explains their vast application in the manufacturing industry. You can use it in the medical industry, the packaging industry and for automobiles. Solvent- and water-based adhesives are both beneficial to manufacturers depending on their application. The former dries very quickly because they are made with hydrocarbon solvent such as acetone and toluene.

Asides from prolong drying time of water-based adhesives, they are safe and cheaper than the solvent-based. You can produce water based adhesives by combining water, polymers and additives. For solvent-based adhesives, mix solvents and thermoplastics such as acrylic or silicone. Use a high shear mixer to help you with that. It subjects the ingredients to intense high energy to make a stable and fine emulsion.

How do adhesives impact the environment – and are there alternatives?

The biodegradability of solvent-based adhesives is significantly low. The chemical wastes are not eco friendly and, as such ,affect the soil, water and air. A good number of manufacturing industries produce solvent-based adhesives because of their high substrate affinity.

Consider sustainable options like beeswax or gum arabic in place of non-renewable adhesives. Gelatin, an animal collagen, is biodegradable, but involves different manufacturing process and equipment other than adhesive making machine. It usually involves pre-treatment with acid (hydrochloric acid) or alkaline (sodium carbonate) to remove minerals and impurities. The extraction kettle can help you with that. Countries like the United States do not allow the use of solvents like toluene and methylene chloride when producing adhesives due to their negative environmental impact.

From ceramics to packaging – trends in the adhesive market

The global hot melt adhesive market reached a value of US$ 6.75 billion in 2020. Looking forward, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% during 2021-2026. The packaging sector is growing and steadily driving the demand for hot melt adhesives. Asides from sealing purposes, the automobile industry uses it for car seat covers. Other rising demand includes flooring materials and ceramics. Apart from looking for better adhesive processing equipment, producers also regard the cost-effectiveness of making adhesives. Also, instead of oven drying or ultraviolet curing, manufacturers are opting for the Ebeam technology, which doesn’t produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

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