A Look At Common Adhesive Chemistries

The right adhesive chemistries for your packaging needs.

Machines and production both run faster than ever before. Packaging solutions are getting more complex, and companies require adhesives that work on a wide variety of substrates. Companies are continually developing ways to improve how they produce and package products, reduce downtime, lower energy, increase line speed, and lower maintenance costs.

Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) and Metallocene Catalyzed Polyolefin Polymer (mPO) are two common formulations used to describe a packaging adhesive’s chemical composition . EVA and mPO refer to the polymer that contributes to an adhesive’s bond strength, flexibility, and resistance to shear or heat stress.

What’s a Polymer?

A polymer is a complex compound made up by the reaction of simple molecules having functional groups which permit their combination to proceed to a high molecular weight given appropriate reaction conditions. Example polymers include acrylics, nylons and styrenes, condensation polymers and epoxies, phenolics, and silicones.

In today’s market, many manufacturers are developing alternatives to single-source ingredients for their adhesive chemistries. That’s why you’ll see products marketed as proprietary, hybrid, or high polymer.

The Truth About EVA Adhesive Chemistries

Although EVA adhesives were first developed in the mid-1900s, nearly half of all packaging adhesives sold today are considered EVA. They have proved to be a mainstay of adhesive production for decades. They offer excellent performance and value, but have lower thermal stability, which can require a more diligent adhesive equipment maintenance routine.

What to Know About mPO Adhesive Chemistries

Newer to the market, mPO adhesives were developed in the 1990s. They are a good choice if you seek very clean machining and performance, with a slightly higher cost. Metallocene adhesives are more thermally stable in equipment, which can result in lower maintenance costs and reduced downtime.

Want a Simplified Solution?

Although chemistry is important, there’s more to choosing an adhesive than the polymer used within. It’s important to look at cost, performance, and more. That’s why APPLIED Adhesives works with you to:

  • Identify and evaluate all performance criteria used in your packaging process
  • Understand baseline application and performance
  • Make product (and sometimes process) recommendations
  • Continue to check in on adhesive performance

Contact us for a holistic and thoughtful discussion about the right adhesive option(s) for your packaging needs.