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Adhesive manufacturers stuck on water-based products.

Although more closely associated with finishing, water-based products which lower or eliminate VOC emissions are also being developed by woodworking adhesive manufacturers.

While woodworking companies all over the country hurry to comply with local, state and federal volatile organic compound standards in their finishing rooms, some may be overlooking other areas which emit VOCs -- gluing operations. To help wood product companies reduce VOCs in their gluing operations, many wood adhesive suppliers have shifted the focus of their products from solvent-based adhesives to water-based glues in the last few years. Adhesive suppliers have made this shift not only to reduce harmful VOC emissions into the atmosphere, but also to safeguard woodworking employees from hazardous chemicals, lower the risk of flammability and allow easier cleanup and disposal. "Our basic strategy has been to formulate water-based adhesives to perform as well as solvent-based materials," said Jack Chambers, director of product assembly with Swift Adhesives, adding that glue manufacturers are doing so. "It's a good idea anyway, because some solvents used in adhesives, like 1, 1, 1 trichloroethane, will no longer be available after 1995."

Holding strength

Many water-based adhesives perform as well as, or better than, their solvent-based counterparts in terms of being capable of producing a good, strong ultimate bond, according to, according Nancy Trucano, director of marketing with Franklin International.

"Basically the only difference between water-based and solvent-based adhesives is the vehicle used to carry the solid portion of the adhesive," said Chambers. "Water or solvent is the vehicle that evaporates or flashes off, leaving only the adhesive on the applied surface."

In addition to using water as a vehicle, many water-based adhesives contain high solids, which means a little glue can go a long way.

"It's a high mileage type of adhesive and can contain as much as three times more solids than solvent-based adhesives," said Kent Pitcher, manager of Custom Park Adhesives division of Borden Inc. "If you were using 60 drums of solvent-based adhesives a year, you could cover the same amount of area with 20 drums of water-based adhesives."

By reducing the number of drums needed, shipping costs of water-based adhesives can result in reduced shipping costs because fewer drums have to be shipped. For example, if a 500 pound, 55-gal drum of adhesives costs from 3 to 10 cents per pound to ship, savings can be realized with each shipment because fewer drums of water-based adhesive can offer the same coverage as more drums of solvent-based adhesives, according to Trucano.

Flame off

In addition to gaining the attention of woodworking manufacturers, the insurance industry is starting to recognize the non-flammable benefits of water-based adhesives. The use of water-based adhesives may result in a wider range of insurance policies being offered to woodworking companies.

"As a rule, many insurance companies haven't offered policies to woodworking companies in the past because of the high risk of fire," said Larry Schwab, director of loss control with State Farm Insurance. "In the insurance industry, there is a big plus factor whenever a company replaces flammable materials with non-flammable materials. A good example is when painting operations switched from oil base paints to latex, the insurance industry, recognizing the risk reduction, were then able to provide more policies because fire risk had been reduced."

Schwab said that if communication involving advances in water-based adhesives and related technology can be shared between insurance industry groups and woodworking organizations, the result might speed up the chances of more policies offered to the woodworking industry.

"If large woodworking organizations can be pro-active toward using water-based products available to the woodworking industry and the organizations that educate insurance industry groups such as the American Insurance Assn., American Insurance Service Group and the Alliance of American Insurers, the possibility of policy coverage for woodworking operations may increase at a faster rate," he said.

Cleaning up its act

In addition to easier cleanup, water-based adhesives also can be disposed of with regular trash as long as the adhesive does not contain ingredients that violate Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.

"Water-based adhesives, for the most part, can be landfilled as long as they don't contain ingredients on the government hit list," said Pitcher. "When the vehicle is gone and the adhesive has dried, it is much less likely to leach into the soil."

However, Pitcher recommended that companies check with proper authorities before disposing of their adhesives to make sure ingredients do not violate local, state or federal standards.

Working on improvements

Although adhesive manufacturers have reached certain goals in adhesive performance and VOC reduction, there are a few areas which adhesive manufacturers are trying to improve. Equipment modification, drying times and shelf life are issues that adhesive manufacturers are addressing in ongoing research and development.

Spray guns, spray lines and storage tanks can rust when exposed to water-based adhesives unless they are lined with stainless steel, nylon or other non-corrosive materials. Therefore, new equipment or equipment modifications may be required when using water-based adhesives.

"One of the main goals adhesive manufacturers are trying to reach is offering products that customers can run through their present equipment and not have to buy new or modify existing equipment," said Chambers.

Because solvents evaporate faster than water at room temperature, water-based adhesives take longer to dry than their solvent-based counterparts. This could affect production by requiring additional drying ovens or drying ovens that can operate at higher temperatures.

Shelf life is also a concern for customers. Many of the new water-based adhesives require product rotation or agitation and are not as forgiving as solvent-based formulations. Generally this does not create major problems because the higher solid content of the water-based adhesives reduces the volume of adhesives consumed and therefore requires fewer containers.

Bonding with the future

Because of the stricter VOC compliance requirements looming on the horizon, many woodworking manufacturers will be forced to make adjustments in their adhesive operations. Adhesive suppliers say they are eager to help them make the right choices when choosing a compliant adhesive.

"Woodworkers should resource with other woodworking companies to find a few good adhesive suppliers," said Pitcher. "Then choose a reputable company with a wide range of products because some adhesive companies may only specialize in single product lines or applications other than wood products."

If a woodworking operation does its homework and cultivates a good working relationship with its adhesive supplier, it not only can find compliance with upcoming regulations but also offer superior bonding strength with minimum or no adjustment to its current manufacturing process.

Available adhesives

The following are some of the adhesives available to the woodworking industry. For more information, circle the corresponding numbers on the Reader's Service Card or consult the Red Book Buyer's Specification Guide.

Duration brand adhesive from ParaChem Southern Inc. is a water-based, non-flammable contact cement that can be used in both flat stock and postforming applications. The company says the adhesive is a freeze thaw stable latex product that forms a strong, flexible bond. Application can be performed with spray, brush or roll.

National Starch and Chemical Co. features a full line of Wood-Lok adhesives for the furniture industry and PurFect Lok polyurethane reactive hotmelts for the general woodworking industry. Kor-Lok, Duro-Lok and Duro-Lok Plus are crosslinking emulsions suited for edge gluing and fingerjointing.

Hybond 16 WB adhesives from Pratt & Lambert are a spray grade water-base contact adhesive that feature an average dry time of 12 minutes and come in 5-gal pails and 50-gal fiber drums.

Rapidex reactive hotmelt from H.B. Fuller Co. is a 100% solids, solvent-free product that features low VOCs, green strength, heat, solvent and chemical resistance and good adhesion to wood and other materials, the company says.

Dorus adhesives from Woodtape are available in PVA and hotmelt (granular or cartridge). The adhesives can be used in edgebanding, lamination, post-forming, dowel insertion, membrane pressing and many other woodworking applications. SC-1900 Series cross-linking adhesives from National Casein are a one-part system which combines the convenience of a ready-to-use adhesive with the specific advantages of a cross-linking adhesive. The SC-1900 Series needs no mixing and gives an ANSI/HPMA HP 1983 Type II bond for hardwood plywood WWDA industry standards.

Fastbond 2000-NF adhesive from 3M offers high-solids content, moisture resistance and can hold substrates together at temperatures up to 205F. The water-based adhesive is reported to provide an immediate bond without forced drying equipment and is available in 5-gal pails and 55-gal drums.

The 9000 Series of thermosetting emulsions from Borden offers cure speed and Type 1 water resistant bonds when used with suggested catalysts. The adhesive has been formulated for conventional hot pressing or RF curing. Additional benefits include sanding characteristics and creep resistance, and the ability to readily accept stains.

Imperial Adhesive's 318L blue water-base Flexweld neoprene contact adhesive can be used to bond HPL to particleboard for countertops or other cabinet construction uses. Application can be made by spray, roller or brush after the adhesive is mixed well.

Woodworking adhesives from Swift Adhesives have been specifically formulated to bond a wide variety of wood products such as hardwoods, softwoods, plywood, particleboard, MDF and hardboard.

WETset solvent-free contact cement from Franklin Int'l. has the ability to set wet. This enables users to work in time frames typical of solvent-based contact cements. The wet setting capacity means routing and filing can be performed immediately. The company says the product has low odor, is non-flammable and cleans up with warm water.

Jowat Corp.'s 228 00 Edgebanding Hotmelt is a low-melt viscosity polyolefin product. Possessing strong adhesion, it is suited for softforming and is resistant to high and low temperatures, the company says. The 228 00 hotmelt is designed for bands constructed of laminates, polyester, PVC resinated paper, solid wood and veneers.

AZ Laboratories' AZ Bond adhesives can be used in numerous furniture applications for instant on-line assembly/repairs. Products are sandable in as little as 10 seconds after application. Specific low viscosity compositions have been developed to seal wood shake and veneer check. A special composition can be mixed with wood dust for use as a putty/filler with immediate sanding and no shrinkage.

SprayPac 0440 hotmelt adhesive from Hysol Engineering Adhesives features an extended open time of 10 minutes, is solvent-free and is reported to reduce adhesive amount requirements.

Weldwood 3030 water-based contact cement from DAP Inc. is formulated with neoprene rubber and an extremely high solids content which is reported to provide two to three times the coverage of conventional solvent-based products. The cement can be spray, brush or roller coated and can be used for postforming applications.

Plexus MA6000 universal decorative cast polymer adhesive from ITW Adhesives is specially designed for seamless bonding of many decorative solid surface materials. The adhesive is pre-mixed and pre-measured in convenient cartridges and can be dispensed using manual or pneumatic applicators. The adhesive features a 10 to 15 minute working time and sanding and finishing can be performed in an hour.

Roo Glue (AV56) from AV Syntec Pty. Ltd. is designed to glue a particle-board edge, a wood edge or a plywood edge to a melamine surface. Roo Glue (AV56) can be used on nailers, backs, drawers, drawer bottoms and throughout the cabinet box. Roo Glue (AV56) also adheres to thermofused melamine, some melamine foil and vinyl covered materials and some solid surface materials.

The Camie 365, available from Camie-Campbell is a high-temperature, high-strength contact type adhesive designed for use with decorative plastic laminates and other woodworking needs. It features a lace or web-type pattern for low soak-in so that more adhesive remains at the surface where it is needed, the company says. The product meets MMM-130A edge lift requirements for plastic laminate work.

Bostik has added Supergrip 2000/9714 to its moisture curing urethane hotmelt line. The adhesive is applied as a conventional hotmelt but continues to cure when in the presence of ambient moisture. Once cured, Supergrip reportedly offers strength and flexibility, in addition to adhesion, to a variety of substrates, including aluminum, steel, wood, fabrics and plastics.

Pierce & Stevens Corp.'s Hybond A7928AF contact cement is a general purpose, waterbased adhesive. The liquid adhesive is applied using a spray roller.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined that some adhesives used in the wood products industry emit hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) in levels sufficient enough to be regulated under the Clen Air Act amendment.

These emission will be regulated under a National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) to be developed. Adhesive guidelines will be included in the NESHAP covering wood furniture finishing emissions.

Currently, guidelines covering the finishing aspects of the NESHAP are being developed in a Regulatory Negotiating process by a committee consisting of representatives from the woodworking and finishing supply industries, private environmental groups, and state and federal environmental agencies.

The guidelines affecting emissions of HAPs from adhesives are not being developed in this Reg Neg process, however, but instead will be developed by the EPA and later included in the NESHAP. The EPA decided to include adhesives in the wood finishing NESHAP after the Reg Neg group was formed. The group does not have a representative from the adhesives industry as a member. Because of this, the Red Neg committee decided not to tackle adhesives as part of these negotiations, said John Lingelbach, Reg Neg group facilitator. The NESHAP guidelines covering adhesive emissions, although not yet developed, will set emission levels, determine compliance approaches which could include material and application method changes, and also update record keeping and employee training responsibilities in current work practices.
COPYRIGHT 1994 Vance Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1994, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:advantages of water-based adhesives
Author:Derning, Sean
Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Date:Jan 1, 1994
Previous Article:New standards for particleboard & MDF.
Next Article:Chilean furniture makers eye U.S. market.

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