Adhesives that that multi-task for either the installer or the substrate
Adhesive Manufacturers are staying busy developing products that multi-task for either the installer or the substrate, while maintaining a commitment to impart the lowest impact on the environment possible.
The strength to bend
Working with a product that has firm bonding strength but is also easy to work with is an important feature of an adhesive, one often addressed in the primary stages of a product’s development.
At Para-Chem, flooring application specialist Sonny Callaham noted the advantages of proximity during the earliest stages. “With Parabond being a division of Para-Chem, we enjoy the advantage of having our raw material supplier working side-by-side with our chemists to ensure the highest quality of adhesive without the sacrifice of workability for the installer.”
Similarly, Mapei also develops its products with the installer in mind. “Our research and development efforts are directed toward creating robust, design-specific adhesives that are easy to work with from an installer’s perspective,” said Jeff Johnson, product manager of floor covering installation systems. “As you move up into the realm of two-component, high performance adhesives, the skill sets and experience base of the installer need to be a little higher than those that might be required for a basic carpet tile installation.”
Johnson added that stronger isn’t always better. The best application for an adhesive is one that matches the job it’s meant for. For example, using an adhesive of immovable strength on commercial carpet tile that requires replacement in several years is probably not the best match.
Barry Wright, executive vice president at W.F. Taylor, concurred. “Not only is it important to have the correct bonding strength for the floor covering product chosen, but also excellent adhesion to the selected flooring. Each specific floor covering requires its own type of adhesive and specific requirements for bond strength.”
For situations where stronger is better, leading manufacturers have an arsenal of products to showcase. DriTac offers its moisture cure urethanes, which include DriTac 7600, DriTac 7500 Eco-Urethane and Easy Spread DriTac 7400, all of which are compliant with national VOC standards and help contribute to LEED points, said John Lio, marketing manager.
Advanced Adhesive Technologies, (AAT), presented its Triton series from the Problem Solver line to meet the strongest adhesive quandaries. “It can handle concrete substrates with up to 10 pounds of moisture vapor emission rate, 85% relative humidity and a maximum pH of 11,” said Greg Wood, president. “Every Triton adhesive is solvent free, VOC-free and carries the Carpet & Rug Institute’s most stringent Green Label Plus certification.”
Multi-tasking was a popular feature for the strongest glues among manufacturers. Taylor’s Meta-Tec MS-Plus Advance wood flooring adhesive provides an extremely strong but flexible bond by the moisture cure process, said Wright. “When fully cured this unique bond also forms a moisture protection membrane and sound deadening properties where these requirements are specified.”
The product has just been released for launch next month. Meta-Tec offers several product features for wood applications.
Para-Chem’s strongest product works on several different types of flooring, noted Callaham. Para-bond Fusion Series 5082 can be used under vinyl sheet, rubber, VCT, luxury vinyl tile and plank, and can be applied over both porous and non-porous substrates. “When applied over non-porous substrates the adhesive can be allowed to dry to the touch before putting the floor down, similar to a resealable adhesive,” he explained. “But, after 30 days, the glue transitions from a releasable adhesive into a permanent installation.”
Mapei’s strongest glue is Ultrabond 21, a two-component urethane adhesive for high performance applications under any floor, said Johnson. “Ultra-bond G21 will cure in just about any condition and will provide the best in bond and shear strength,” he said.
While each manufacturer touted products that varied from application to product formula, they had one commonality—environmental stewardship.
Shared interest for a shared planet is one portion of the segment that remains constant, executives agreed.
“Mapei has been in the eco-friendly adhesive business since 1979,” said Johnson. “We are very experienced in developing high performance adhesives within the confines of eco-friendly requirements.”
Wright explained how Taylor develops green adhesives. “Environmental design is accomplished through careful selection and control of raw materials for low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and green attributes such as derivation from renewable resources,” he elaborated. “We start with environmental attributes in mind so the final adhesives’ bond strengths are not compromised by the product being eco-friendly.”
DriTac’s strongest product is also its greenest, Lio explained. “DriTac7500 Eco-Urethane of-fers zero VOCs and zero solvents. It is the adhesive of choice for green projects.”
AAT’s greenest adhesive is designed for renewable flooring, doubling the green points for installation, said Wood. E2 Premium hardwood flooring adhesive is the initial product offering in the company’s Ecologix family of adhesives. “Formulated for the installation of engineered plank, acrylic impregnated wood flooring, bamboo, solid shorts, pre-finished solid plank and parquet wood flooring, E2 is the premiere choice for a zero VOC, zero solvent, professional grade wood flooring adhesive.”
Callaham also advised that being green no longer applies only to the product itself. “It means harvesting raw materials regionally to help eliminate carbon emissions from unnecessary freight, packaging in eco-friendly, recyclable containers, using alternative energy sources or innovative wastewater technologies.”