When plants use hot-melt adhesives in their operations, the tanks hoses and nozzles are put under continuous heat stress, and have a tendency to create char, either from the hot-melt adhesive or from contaminants introduced into the hot-melt pots. For the plants to continue to have manufacturing efficiency and consistent performance from the adhesive and equipment it is necessary to clean the hot-melt tanks, nozzles and heads, on a consistent basis.
There are two areas to pay special attention to when deciding whether it is necessary to clean and purge equipment. You have to evaluate external and internal tank contamination.
External contamination manifests itself in hoses and application heads with degraded pieces of hot-melt and foreign contamination that has settled and gone through the system. It also can create problems with transfer of adhesive to places it isn’t designed to go. Incorrect adhesive transfer can cause the bond to be aligned improperly, and possible machine down time.
Internal contamination has more serious consequences, including: blocking and misfiring of nozzles, changes in the performance characteristics of the adhesive, and viscosity changes in the adhesive leading to incorrect placement and amounts of adhesive and possibly tank replacement or sandblasting.
There is now a solution to prevent these problems. APPLIED Adhesives has developed a line of products designed to keep your hot-melt equipment running at peak performance. For the internal tank concerns APPLIED developed:
SAF-T Purge 200 -A non-hazardous cleaner designed for use in cleaning hot-melt pots. You just Pour the SAF-T Purge directly into tank and heat to a temperature of 350°F/400° F. Turn pump on and circulate for a minimum of 30 minutes. Drain SAF-T Purge from the system completely and discard material. Now add the hot-melt adhesive and discard the first few minutes.
For the external tank concerns, the hoses, nozzles, and heads APPLIED developed:
Dissolv-X– Finally there is a great alternative to cleaning solvents. This is a Non Hazardous cleaner designed to remove hot-melt adhesives, tape, grease, grime and other mineral based products. This product is biodegradable, non hazardous and environmentally friendly.
The frequency of cleaning depends upon many factors, including:
- Choice of adhesive
- highly stable hot-melts such as Henkel COOL or Henkel SUPRA reduce cleaning needs
- Keep hot-melt covered and pots full and covered.
- Temperature control
- reducing temperatures when an adhesive is not in use