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Waterborne Adhesives for Rigid Packaging Uses

SpecialChem / Andy Extance – Jan 10, 2011

While aqueous solutions, dispersions and emulsions have been the most commonly used adhesives in the packaging industry, their curing speed remains a key weakness. However, there are formulation steps that can be used to tackle this, and to deliver other desired qualities, like the ability to be removed without tearing the substrates that they're attached to. Waterborne adhesives are often used in packaging in conjunction with paper and board materials. Due to their relatively low viscosity, water-based adhesives can be sprayed or extruded in a thin layer that forms a strong adhesive bond. Their low viscosity also means that they can penetrate porous substrates, rapidly giving a high degree of tack and stronger bonding than is achievable with hot-melt adhesives. While hot-melt adhesives soften at temperatures over 75°C and may become brittle near 0°C waterborne adhesives remain bonded strongly over a greater temperature range. They can also make packaging, for example corrugated containers, that can be re-pulped and recycled without removing or separating the adhesive layers, another distinct advantage over hot-melts.

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