5 Types of Hot Melt Adhesives

Choosing the right hot-melt adhesive for every use is critically important. The adhesive you need to accomplish a specific task can vary widely, so it’s important to know what adhesives are best suited for your application.

Evans Adhesive uses five different main types of polymer bases as the backbone component for our case and carton packaging hot melt adhesives. It is most important to identify your adhesive needs in terms of performance rather than by polymer base. However, many users and suppliers use base polymers as labels for their hot melt adhesive type. Knowing the main polymer base is good to know on how compatible it may be if you are already using a hot melt adhesive. This list reviews general characteristics and applications for each polymer base.

1) EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate)

EVA is one of the original polymer bases used in standard in packaging and industrial hot melt adhesives. It still produces very competitive and very high performing packaging hot melt adhesives today. This base offers one of the widest range of performance across virtually every current application and is the best and/or main option for many applications.. It works in both low application temperature and traditional application temperature hot melt adhesives.

2) Polyethylene

These polymer bases work well for most case, carton and tray sealing applications. Polyethylene polymer based adhesives provide low odor, light color, and often release easy from metal for easy clean up if it gets on your equipment. It is not ideal for difficult to bond substrates and is only used at traditional application temperatures.

3) Metallocene

Metallocene polymers were introduced in the 90’s. Combining these polymer bases with other premium components offered much greater stability while heated for application and provided storage temperature strength under very cold and hot conditions. This disruptive jump in reducing char and breakdown from heat exposure while expanding heat and cold bond performance made them the fastest growing polymer base since then. There are many variants of premium no char performance hot melts offered today. Evans recommends identifying which level of performance is needed rather than using the polymer metallocene as a designation of a hot melt type with low/no char performance. Some offerings marketed today may have some of this polymer in the adhesive but there are many variants with a wide range of price points, stability, and bond performance not equivalent to the originally introduced products.

4) APAO (Amorphous Poly Alpha Olefins)

APAO adhesives are best used where long open/working time or adhesion to plastics is desired . These adhesives offer a soft, tacky and flexible texture, making them an excellent choice for product assembly including adding foam protection to corrugated packaging and bonding plastic corrugated containers.

5) Polyamides

These adhesive excel where for very high temperature resistance, oil and solvent resistance, or quick assembly strength is desired. This makes them an excellent choice for filter, wood, and other high performance assembly applications. These adhesives require high application temperatures typically around 400F and do not have as much stability under heat as the other types of adhesives.

To Learn More

Innovative performance hot melts from Evans Adhesive are perfect for a broad range of industries including packaging and paper converting. To learn more or request a free sample, just click here.

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