Hot-melt adhesive is a thermoplastic material that is solid at room temperature but which, when applied in liquid (melted) state, sticks to a surface as soon as it cools below its melting point.
There are other types of frequently used non-melting adhesives such as water-based or solvent-based adhesives and cold-applied reactive adhesives.
The main advantages of hot melt compared with these adhesives can be summarised in the following points:
As they are solid they are easier to handle, store and transport.
Their bonding strength is instant, without drying or curing.
They do not need time for holding the bond.
Their high viscosity compared with other adhesives allows them to be used on porous and non-porous surfaces.
High performance, faster production.
High performance of the glued bond. Mechanical strength, tolerance against chemical aggression, extreme temperatures, etc.
Reusable in most cases.
There are countless applications of hot melt in diverse markets, most importantly:
Wood and furniture
Adhesives can be classified in various ways considering the different features that define them. Adhesives for cold and hot (hot melt) application; reactive and non-reactive adhesives; within the hot-melt adhesives, according to their polymer base: EVA, polyolefin, polyurethane, polyamide, etc.
From the point of view of the application system, there are two main groups of hot-melt adhesives:
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