Different Adhesive Types and How to Use Them

Different Adhesive Types and How to Use Them

In the ever-evolving world of manufacturing and production, adhesives play a crucial role in holding materials together, sealing surfaces, and enabling a wide range of applications. From the packaging industry to the world of print and textiles, the versatility of adhesives is unparalleled. In this comprehensive blog, we’ll explore the different types of adhesives and their optimal usage across various industries.

Adhesives for Printing and Packaging

Lamination Adhesives

Lamination adhesives are essential for bonding multiple layers of materials, such as films, foils, and papers, in the packaging industry. These adhesives create a strong, durable bond that can withstand various environmental conditions, ensuring the integrity and protection of the packaged product. Lamination adhesives are commonly used in applications like:

  • Flexible packaging
  • Rigid packaging
  • Labeling
  • Envelopes

When selecting a lamination adhesive, factors like substrate compatibility, dry time, and heat resistance should be carefully considered to achieve the desired performance.

Pressure-Sensitive Adhesives (PSAs)

Pressure-sensitive adhesives are versatile and widely used in the packaging industry, particularly for labeling and sealing applications. These adhesives are activated by the application of pressure, allowing for easy and secure bonding without the need for additional heat or moisture. PSAs are commonly used in:

  • Labels and stickers
  • Tapes
  • Self-adhesive packaging

The selection of a suitable PSA depends on factors such as the surface characteristics, required peel strength, and the intended end-use environment.

Adhesives for Packaging

Packaging Adhesives

In the packaging industry, adhesives play a crucial role in the assembly and sealing of various packaging materials, ensuring the protection and integrity of the packaged products. These adhesives are designed to provide strong, reliable, and often water-resistant bonds in applications such as:

  • Carton and box sealing
  • Pouch and bag construction
  • Closure and tamper-evident seals
  • Specialty packaging solutions

The choice of packaging adhesives depends on factors like the substrate compatibility, required bond strength, and the specific packaging design and manufacturing processes.

Envelope Adhesives

Envelope adhesives are essential for the secure closure and sealing of envelopes, ensuring the safe delivery of documents and other materials. These adhesives must be able to withstand the handling and environmental conditions encountered during postal transport. Envelope adhesives are commonly used in:

  • Envelope flap sealing
  • Gummed tape applications
  • Self-seal envelope solutions

The selection of envelope adhesives considers factors like activation method (lickable, moisturizable, or peel-and-seal), bond strength, and environmental resistance.

Adhesives for Book Binding and Paper Converting

Book Binding Adhesives

Book binding adhesives play a crucial role in the production of books, magazines, and other printed materials. These adhesives must be capable of forming a strong, flexible, and durable bond between the book block and the cover, ensuring the integrity and longevity of the final product. Common book binding adhesive applications include:

  • Perfect binding
  • Saddle stitching
  • Case binding

Factors like viscosity, open time, and drying speed are essential considerations when choosing the appropriate book binding adhesive.

Paper Converting Adhesives

Paper converting adhesives are utilized in various processes involved in the transformation of raw paper materials into finished products. These adhesives are designed to provide reliable bonding and sealing in applications such as:

  • Envelope manufacturing
  • Folding carton production
  • Paper bag assembly
  • Specialty paper converting

The selection of paper converting adhesives often depends on the specific paper substrates, the required bond strength, and the processing conditions.

Adhesives for Textiles

Textile Adhesives

Textile adhesives are essential in the garment and apparel industry, enabling the bonding of fabrics, trims, and other components. These adhesives must be able to withstand the demands of textile manufacturing processes, as well as the wear and tear experienced by the final products. Common textile adhesive applications include:

  • Garment assembly
  • Interlining bonding
  • Patch and emblem attachment
  • Shoe manufacturing

Factors like flexibility, wash resistance, and heat/cold resistance are crucial when selecting the appropriate textile adhesive.

Woodworking Adhesives

Wood Adhesives

Woodworking adhesives are essential for the assembly and construction of various wood-based products, from furniture to cabinetry. These adhesives must provide a strong, durable, and water-resistant bond to ensure the structural integrity and longevity of the final product. Common wood adhesive applications include:

  • Furniture assembly
  • Cabinet and millwork construction
  • Wooden toys and crafts
  • Outdoor and marine applications

Factors like curing time, gap-filling abilities, and environmental resistance are crucial when selecting the appropriate wood adhesive.

Adhesive Selection and Application Considerations

When choosing the right adhesive for your specific application, there are several key factors to consider:

  • Substrate Compatibility

Adhesives must be compatible with the materials they are intended to bond. This includes factors like surface energy, porosity, and chemical composition of the substrates. Ensuring compatibility is essential for achieving a strong and reliable bond.

  • Bond Strength Requirements

Different applications demand varying levels of bond strength. Factors like the expected load, stress, and environmental conditions should be evaluated to select an adhesive with the appropriate bond strength characteristics.

  • Application Method

The chosen adhesive must be suitable for the intended application method, whether it’s manual application, automated dispensing, or a specific coating process. Viscosity, curing mechanisms, and ease of application are important considerations.

  • Curing Conditions

Adhesives may require specific curing conditions, such as temperature, humidity, or exposure to UV light, to achieve the desired bond strength and performance. Matching the adhesive’s curing requirements with the available resources and production environment is crucial.

  • Environmental Factors

In some cases, factors like low-VOC content, compliance with regulations, or biodegradability may be important considerations, particularly in industries like packaging and construction.

  • Cost and Availability

While performance is paramount, the cost and availability of the adhesive should also be taken into account to ensure that the chosen solution aligns with the project’s budget and supply chain requirements.

Adhesive Application Techniques

Proper application of adhesives is essential for ensuring a successful bond. Some common adhesive application techniques include:

  • Manual Application: For small-scale or specialized applications, adhesives may be applied manually using tools like brushes, rollers, or spatulas.
  • Automated Dispensing: In high-volume or precision-oriented applications, automated adhesive dispensing systems are often employed to ensure consistent and accurate application.
  • Coating and Lamination: Adhesives can be applied as coatings or used in lamination processes to bond multiple layers of materials together, such as in the packaging industry.
  • Heat and Pressure: Some adhesives, such as hot-melt or thermoplastic adhesives, require the application of heat and pressure to activate the bonding process.
  • Activation by UV or EB: Certain adhesives, known as UV-curable or EB-curable adhesives, require exposure to ultraviolet light or electron beam radiation to initiate the curing process.
  • Proper surface preparation, adhesive application, and post-application handling are crucial steps to ensure the integrity and longevity of the bonded assemblies.


Adhesives are the unsung heroes of the manufacturing and production world, enabling a vast array of applications across diverse industries. From the packaging and printing sectors to the world of textiles and woodworking, understanding the different types of adhesives and their optimal usage is crucial for achieving success in your respective fields.

By considering factors like substrate compatibility, bond strength requirements, and application techniques, you can select the right adhesive solution to meet the unique demands of your projects. As technology and industry needs continue to evolve, the adhesive landscape will undoubtedly continue to expand, offering new and innovative solutions to the challenges faced by modern manufacturers and producers.