When working with hot melt adhesives, users have to be careful to choose the right formulation to match the materials being bonded. Some plastics, foams, and light fabrics are susceptible to damage, including possible melting when used with the more conventional high-temperature hot melts. Tecbond low melt adhesives are specially formulated to provide the same properties as regular hot melts while being applied at much lower temperatures.
Low melt adhesives are a variant of hot melt adhesives specifically designed to run at much lower temperatures. Traditional hot melts are applied between 195°C and 215°C, whereas most low melt adhesives are designed to be applied at temperatures around 130°C.
They are predominantly used in scenarios where a regular hot melt would damage the substrate to which it is trying to bond. Materials that are particularly susceptible to damage from hot melts include expanded polystyrene, packing foams, plastic films, floristry oasis, and some light fabrics.
To facilitate the need for lower application temperatures, many glue gun manufacturers will make tools specially designed for low melt adhesives. Alternatively, the more industrial glue guns may have an adjustable thermostat. These lower melt tools are more energy efficient than their hot melt variants, lowering overall energy consumption.
Covering a range of applications, tecbond low melt adhesives are available in three formulations. Tecbond LM42 and LM46 are arts and crafts grades, while tecbond LM41 is the premium grade for product assembly applications.
Tecbond LM42 is a white, economical, general-purpose adhesive predominantly used in the hobby, craft, and educational markets. LM42 provides good adhesion to a wide range of substrates, including paper, card, wood, foam, light gauge metals, fabrics, and floristry foams.
Tecbond LM46 is a faster-setting adhesive than LM42, designed to speed up production or manufacturing processes. Providing good adhesion to a range of substrates, including paper, card, wood, ceramic, fabric, foam, and some plastics, tecbond LM46 is a popular packaging grade thanks to its shorter open time.
Tecbond LM41 is a crystal clear, all-purpose adhesive, featuring the highest adhesion and output of any tecbond low melt grade. Its class-leading bond strength provides excellent adhesion to a range of substrates, including paper, card, wood, ceramic, fabric, foam, and some plastics. Additionally, LM41 can be pigmented to almost any colour, making it an ideal formulation for both crafting projects and product assembly applications that require an adhesive that matches the material colour.
Although the recommended application temperature of tecbond low melt adhesives is 130°C, it is possible to apply them at 160°C. This will lower the adhesive’s viscosity and increase its open time. For this reason, it is important to understand your working open time and ideal viscosity before changing the application temperature.
Complimenting the range of tecbond low melt adhesives, the tec range of 12mm, 15mm, and 43mm glue guns are the ideal tools for maximum efficiency and output. All 12mm and 15mm corded applicators from the tec 305 to the tec 810 have a low melt variant designed to maintain a constant temperature of 130°C as opposed to the 195°C of the conventional guns.
Some of the higher-spec guns, such as the tec 820 and tec 3400, have adjustable thermostats, removing the need for separate applicators. While the tec 820 has an under-barrel thermostat that can be adjusted with a screwdriver, the tec 3400 has interchangeable modules that automatically set the applicator to the required temperature.
For more information about our low melt adhesive and compatible tec applicators, please don’t hesitate to contact our helpful sales team.
+44 (0)1268 885 801
Power Adhesives is dedicated to improving the performance and application of hot melt adhesive systems for users around the world.
We’re always on the lookout for motivated, knowledgeable distribution companies that we can build long-lasting partnerships with. If you think your customers could benefit from any of the products in our range, get in touch now to find out more about how we can work together.