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Foam Control in Waterborne Adhesives

SpecialChem / May 25, 2005

Foaming is a problem that plagues many industries from food processing to adhesives. Waterborne adhesives are especially prone to the troubles and expensive consequences created by foaming. These experiences have increasingly worsened as converters attempt to: 1. produce more product in less time by faster production lines and equipment speed, 2. environmental regulations encourage change from solventborne to waterborne adhesives, and 3. as surfactant technology continues to develop. Foam is often an undesirable consequence of the waterborne adhesive polymerization, compounding, or conversion processes. Foam can also develop during other stages of the adhesive's life cycle such as during filling or packaging, transportation, and coating or application. Foaming can lead to process inefficiency, overflow in tanks, instability of the adhesive emulsion, and poor substrate coating. In applying an adhesive coating, for example, foaming problems can result in several types of defects, most notably cratering, pinholing (fisheyes), and dewetting.

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