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Types of Packaging Adhesives and Their Properties

Packaging is an important part of the manufacturing industry because different materials are used to pack the finished products. Packaging is most notable for its ability to preserve and protect products, and certain adhesives can help to promote brand recognition.A crucial feature of adhesive is its ability to bond differing materials and surfaces together. There are numerous types of packaging adhesives available on the market, many in high demand. Some of these adhesives are hot melt, pressure adhesive, contact spray, and urethane adhesives, which have properties and features distinct to each type. A popular packaging adhesive is tear strip tape, providing consumers with a flexible bonding adhesive for products like gum, biscuits, chocolates, and more.

Packaging adhesives are classified into two broad categories, namely water-based adhesives and hot melt adhesives. Read on to understand the properties and effectiveness of these adhesives.

Water-Based Adhesives

The characteristics of water-based packaging adhesives are either natural polymers or soluble synthetic polymers. Water-based adhesives are sustainable and consistent in application. The natural polymers include extracts from vegetables, proteins, and animal products, while soluble synthetic polymers include ingredients like extracts from polyvinyl alcohol, cellulose ethers, polyvinylpyrrolidone, carboxymethylcellulose, and methylcellulose.

Water-based adhesives are composed of dry powders and are mixed with water before application. These adhesives gain their strength when the water in the mixture evaporates and the adhesive dries. Some of the most commonly used water-based adhesives are fish adhesives formed by fish skin, starch adhesives formed by maize, adhesives from potatoes, and rice based adhesives. Methylcellulose is formed by cellulose and wood, and PVAC adhesives are formed by saponification products of polyvinyl acetate or other polyvinyl esters.

Hot Melt Adhesives

Hot melt adhesives are basically supplied in the forms of granules and blocks. Unlike water-based adhesives, hot melt adhesives are durable and contain no water or solvents. They are comprised of polymers, resins, wax, and antioxidants, which make them suitable for bonding two non-porous surfaces. These types of adhesives form strong bonds as temperature decreases. A special device is required to heat up and melt before application. After the melted adhesive is applied to the material and, as soon as second material contacts the other and compresses, the adhesive cools down and solidifies. By using hot melt adhesives for packaging, it’s possible to avoid or reduce what can be unstable organic compounds, and drying or curing is not necessary. Hot melt adhesives can also be used in the forms of sprays and dips.


The packaging industry recognizes the importance of a good quality of adhesive for a long-lasting bond. And, so they invest in packaging adhesives that are suitable for both flexible and rigid packaging. These adhesives are suitable for packaging made of paper, cardboard, and other materials and can ensure product safety throughout transportation and storage.


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Written by hbfuller

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