packaging line with low temperature hot melt adhesive aka cool melt

Low temperature hot melt glue bonds and seals delicate materials

In the packaging industry in particular, delicate materials such as paper, wrap around cases, carton and cardboard require bonding in a fast paced environment. Ideally, these applications use hot melt adhesives, however, the application process tends to involve high temperatures possibly damaging the delicate materials and resulting in high energy consumption. Fortunately, it is possible to opt for a low temperature hot melt glue which helps overcome those issues.

Low temperature hot melt glue gets its name from the fact that it allows application in lower temperatures than regular hot melts. These adhesive systems are usually based on synthetic resins. The systems exist as for instance EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) copolymers, polyolefins and other polymers.

Low temperature hot melt glue improves cost efficiency

Usually the main reason for choosing for low temperature hot melt glue systems is their cost efficiency. Using these adhesives reduces costs in three ways:

  1. Energy consumption: as lower temperatures are required, the energy consumption decreases, which results in a smaller electricity bill.
  2. Operational costs: the absence of extremely high temperatures reduce the wear and tear of the machinery, which calls for less frequent maintenance reducing operational costs.
  3. Material costs: low temperature hot melt adhesive systems are generally cheaper to purchase than traditional hot melts. However, this should not be taken for granted: there are always exceptions.

The financial benefits of low temperature adhesives mainly derive from the fact that the hot melt adhesive application process does not require high heat. Whereas a regular hot melt commonly requires at least 150°C, low temperature hot melt adhesive applications are possible from 90°C on.

Benefits of low temperature hot melts in packaging

The low application temperature of these hot melt adhesives brings along several benefits which support the cost efficiency. These include:

  • Bonding and sealing delicate materials: the packaging industry involves many different types of materials that need bonding and sealing; some of these are temperature sensitive. In those cases, a low temperature hot melt adhesive can be used to make sure no harm is done to the delicate materials. For example, it i s wise to glue cardboard with hot melt adhesive that does not require high heat.
  • Increased machinery service life: as extremely high temperatures are not involved in the low temperature hot melt glue application process, the machinery is likely to deteriorate more slowly. This also reduces the need for frequent maintenance.
  • Better operator safety: even though 90°C is still a high temperature, applying low temperature adhesives involves a much smaller risk for operators to get injured by burns. The low temperature also ensures that the adhesive releases less odor during the application.
  • Higher performance of packaging lines: low temperature hot melt glue is generally easy to apply and cures fast. This combined with the minimized maintenance intervals results in improved overall performance of the packaging line.
  • Lower energy consumption: since the adhesive application does not require as high a temperature as regular hot melts, the energy consumption can be significantly reduced. This results in greater sustainability and contributes to reducing carbon footprint.

Technical benefits of the glue

The low temperature adhesive systems additionally have other benefits which are dependent on the formula of a specific glue system. Such benefits common for low temperature hot melt glues include:

two stripes of low temperature hot melt adhesive on cardboard
Low temperature hot melt glue adheres well to porous surfaces.
  • Excellent adhesion
  • Good hot tack
  • Resistance to temperature extremes
  • Fast curing
  • Thermostability
  • No charring
  • Good pot life stability
  • Adhesion to porous surfaces

Contact us for more information on customized low temperature adhesive systems and find the perfect match for your application.

Specifications of low temperature hot melt adhesives

Low temperature hot melt adhesives exist as different types: EVA hot melts, polyolefin based systems and many more formulations, even pressure sensitive. These all have their specific uses. Some are designed for delicate surfaces such as paper, foam and fabric whereas others work well on cardboard and carton. Find the right type of low temperature adhesive by contacting us.

The most common applications of low temperature hot melt glue in the packaging industry include gluing cartons and folding boxes as well as sealing and bonding wraparound cases, cardboard boxes and trays. For each application and material, it is crucial to consider the specifications of the adhesive.

gluing folding boxes wit low temperature hot melt adhesive
Low temperature adhesives are suitable for folding boxes, wrap around cases and other forms of packaging.

Some of the most important specifications to look at are:

  • Application temperature window: generally low temperature hot melt glue can be applied at temperatures between 90° and 140°C. Temperatures above 160°C should be avoided.
  • Recommended application temperature: each adhesive system also has a recommended application temperature which is a smaller range than the temperature window. Usually the recommended application temperature lies between 90° and 130°C, but it varies per product.
  • Softening point: the point where the hot melt adhesive starts to soften is usually greater than 60°C.
  • Application method: many low temperature adhesives are applicable using a roller or nozzle. These can be part of manual, semi-automatic or automatic application equipment depending on the product.

FDA approved hot melts

When choosing an adhesive for packaging, it is also important to look at certification and standards. As low temperature hot melt adhesives are crucial for many packaging lines, and food packaging covers a great share of the industry, FDA approval is one of the most important certificates. Fortunately, many of these low temperature hot melt glue systems have FDA approval, meaning that they are safe to use on food packaging. To avoid any inconvenience, always check with the manufacturer to what extent the adhesive is food safe.

Note: as the trend in food packaging leans towards green solutions, also biodegradable hot melt systems are available.

Find a low temperature hot melt packaging adhesive supplier

If you are looking for a low temperature hot melt adhesive for packaging, contact us and let our experts connect you with a supplier. Our network consists of adhesive industry professionals with proven track record of successful bonding. To get connected, click on the button below and share your adhesive needs with us.


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