What Are Hot Melt Adhesives and How Are They Used

Hot melt adhesives are one of the fastest and easiest forms of professional and industrial adhesives. From its time-to-bond to its method of application, hot melt adhesives are often the best solution for home or professional adhesion.

It is always impractical to use a product that you don’t understand. Here is a breakdown of what makes hot melt adhesion so versatile and effective.

What Are Hot Melt Adhesives?

Hot melt adhesives are a type of thermoplastic adhesive. This means that hot melt adhesives need heat to activate their adhesive qualities. Hot melt adhesives, in this case, need heat the same way water based adhesives need water. The thermoplastic material that hot melt adhesive manufacturers use consists of three main elements: polymers, resins, and plasticizers.

The polymers are what provide the adhesive with its strength, resistance, and flexibility. The resin is what allows the thermoplastic to become wet without the presence of a solvent. Resin is also the element that allows the thermoplastic to adhere to different surfaces and substrates. The final key component is the plasticizer. This element influences the viscosity of the thermoplastic and is what enables the material to be easily spread and applied.

How to Use Hot Melt Adhesives

Hot melt adhesives are typically heated to a liquid or molten state, then applied to a particular surface or material. Hot glue guns are the most common device used for heating and applying hot melt adhesives. The great thing about these types of adhesives is that they can bond to almost any surface. Hot melt adhesive suppliers will often advertise how well these adhesives work with both similar and dissimilar materials. After the adhesive has been applied to one material, the user can bring it into contact with the second material. The adhesive cools pretty quickly, so it is important to connect the two surfaces before that happens. Once the adhesive cools, it sets and bonds the materials together.

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