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Development of Environmentally Benign Pressure Sensitive Adhesives

SpecialChem / Jan 8, 2003

There has been a growing concern that the pressure sensitive adhesives (PSAs) currently used in many products cause the "stickies" problem in the paper-recycling process and, therefore, are not environmentally friendly. Most of the earlier repulpable adhesives were water-soluble PSAs that accumulated in the recycling water stream and exhibited poor moisture resistance and low adhesion performance. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) took the initiative to spearhead a program designed to develop an environmentally friendly PSA for use in the U.S. postage stamp. Extensive industrial research has been devoted to the development of a repulpable PSA. Solutia, a major PSA manufacturer, collaborated with paper producers, release-liner companies, converters, paper-recycling mills and testing labs for the development of a benign PSA. This article describes different designs of PSAs and the pulping behavior of PSAs having different polymer structures. A novel acrylic emulsion PSA was developed with excellent adhesion properties, moisture resistance and recycling performance.

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