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Sunday, 27 September 2020

Progress in eco-friendly adhesives

Thursday, 25 August 2016 | Posted by: Kirsten Wrede, European Coatings Journal

How far have companies come in developing environmentally friendly adhesives? I’m wondering since I’ve done an interview with a large raw material supplier for adhesives.

At Wacker, they see a strong trend toward eco-friendly solutions. They are addressing this, for example, by developing dispersions that enable very-low formaldehyde binders for paper and packaging or wood glues.

In addition, silane modified polymers, have become one of the leading adhesive technology trends, the company says. Next to benefits in performance, they provide an alternative to solvent-borne systems, which have become a no-go in many applications. As an example, SMP-based adhesives are mentioned as the preferred system for high-performance parquet adhesives in the parquet industry.

The German adhesives industry association IVK approaches the topic sustainability and environment as follows on their website:

"The discussion on sustainability, enforced socially and politically, is without a doubt one of the current hot topics, which is important for the adhesives industry for several reasons and is therefore being observed intensively. It will open opportunities and important market potential for the adhesives industry, when in the course of the sustainability debate high-energy joining techniques will become subject of critical analysis and finally have to be replaced. Technology-wise, modern, predictable and reliable adhesive technology is already able to replace conventional and energy-consuming joining techniques.”

We at European Coatings have also reported several times on environmentally friendly adhesives developments. Here’s one example:

"Until now most adhesives have been manufactured from petroleum-based materials. However, they can also be obtained from renewable raw materials -- for example from proteins, natural rubber, starch, or cellulose. Fraunhofer researchers are working on new formulas for industrial applications.”

Also promising, even though not brand-new: the development of a compostable water-based adhesive from BASF. According to the company, biologically degradable adhesives will play a decisive role in developing compostable packaging material.

But is that really the case? News on novel eco-friendly adhesives don’t fly in every day. I would therefore like to know your opinion. How do you rate the advancements when you look at demand and supply of environmentally friendly adhesive systems? Please write to me at I’m looking forward to your views!

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