When it comes to glueing things together, one form of glue and adhesive that you may be acquainted with is called hot glue. Are you interested in finding the most effective glue for use in craft projects? If this is the case, you are most certainly in the correct spot, since the use of hot glue is among the most common options.
What we are going to do right now is teach you everything there is to know about hot glue, and this includes what it is, when it was developed, how it works, how strong it is, how it cures, and a lot of other information as well. How about we chat about hot glue?
What is “Hot Glue”?
The question now is, what precisely is hot glue? The term “hot melt adhesive,” or HMA for short, is another name for “hot glue.” To speak more specifically, this is an example of a particular kind of thermoplastic glue. The term “thermo” is derived from the Greek word for temperature, while the phrase “hot glue” refers to the material’s ability to withstand high temperatures. Just so there is no confusion, hot glue is a kind of plastic.
The primary components of hot glue include ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), polyolefins, polyamides and polyesters, styrene block copolymers, polyethylene, ethylene-methyl acrylate (EMA), and/or ethylene n-butyl acrylate. Other components may include ethylene-n-butyl acrylate and polyethylene (EnBA). Even though hot glue is technically an adhesive, it is not like other adhesives that employ specific compounds to stick to materials. Instead, it uses the process of hot and melted plastic cooling down and solidifying, which ultimately results in a connection being formed between the two materials.
In addition, in its standard form, hot glue is completely solid, in contrast to other kinds of adhesive, which often arrive in liquid form, have to be poured from a tube or container, and then harden after they are applied to the materials. This adhesive is sold in the form of transparent and solid cylindrical sticks, which are more or less merely pieces of plastic. These sticks must first be melted using a specialized instrument, which will be discussed in more detail in the next section.
When was the first time that hot glue was used?
It is important to note that hot glue has not been around for all that long; in fact, the month of May in the year 2021 celebrates the fiftieth year anniversary of its discovery. This fact makes the topic of discussion all the more intriguing. Carl Weller was the first person to discover and patent the use of hot glue in May of 1971.
A gun that heats up sticks of adhesive plastic to their melting point, complete with a trigger and an application nozzle, was the subject of a patent application that was submitted by Carl Weller in the year 1971. This tool is used to dispense a thermoplastic material. Another way to think of it is as a gun.
The use of hot glue as an adhesive saw significant growth once the first glue gun was granted a patent and made accessible to the general public. After then, several variations and types of glue guns were developed, some of which were even patented, beginning in the early 1970s and continuing ahead. Since it was first developed, hot glue has found a multitude of uses ever since it was first made available.
How the Hot Glue Gun Operates
The fact that hot glue is an adhesive that operates differently from practically all other adhesives on the market is one of the most fascinating aspects of this product. When they are in their regular condition, all adhesives on the market are either water-based or not water-based; nevertheless, one thing that they all have in common is that they are in liquid form.
When it comes to hot glue, the plastic component itself takes on the state of a solid rather than a liquid when it is at normal temperature.
Because it must be heated up in order to melt into a liquid state that can then be applied to a surface, it is often referred to as “hot glue.” This is the reason for the name of the product.
To heat the glue, a hot glue gun equipped with a powerful heating element is often utilised. The molten thermoplastic adhesive is dispensed from the hot glue gun whenever the trigger is pushed, which causes the gun to heat up.
Evaporation is the process that causes water-based adhesives to harden into their final form. This is an essential point to remember. They become more brittle when the moisture evaporates. Many times, the curing process for adhesives that are not based on water involves their coming into touch with moisture or ultraviolet radiation.
However, hot glue is not at all like this, and it does not really harden into a solid state.
In common parlance, curing refers to the process of a substance becoming more brittle as a result of a chemical reaction.
However, despite the fact that coming down from a high temperature may be interpreted as a chemical reaction, in practise it is not.
The cooling process is all that is required for hot glue to bind things together. When hot glue, also known as that plastic, cools down, it solidifies into a substance that is plastic, which is a material that is solid and extremely durable.
The Process of Curing
As was said before, hot glue does not really harden or cure in any way. Keep in mind that the term “curing” refers to a chemical reaction that takes place between different substances that causes the materials to become more durable. Now, heating up and cooling down are processes that, despite their scientific character and the fact that they can be interpreted as chemical reactions, are not, in fact, chemical reactions.
Therefore, although hot glue does, in fact, become more solid as it cools down, this is because of the characteristics of the components that go into making it, as well as the inherent differences between materials in their liquid and solid forms. Curing is not at all the same thing as the process by which molten plastic goes through the steps of cooling down and becoming solid. Therefore, even though hot glue might harden and become more solid over time, it does not cure.
It is important to bear in mind that if you check this up online, items and educational articles will speak about the curing timeframes of hot glue. This is simply due to the fact that “curing” is the broad phrase used to describe the process of glue becoming solid.
In actuality, even after it has cooled down, dried up, and become more solid, hot glue does not cure.
It goes without saying that this is a very delicate line, and the vast majority of people wouldn’t even bother talking about it, yet chilling and curing are technically two independent processes.
What is the Strength of Hot Glue?
The point that has to be driven home here is that, from a purely technological standpoint, the thermoplastic material itself is very resilient.
In general, hot glue has a weight capacity of between 600 and 700 pounds, which indicates that it can support a respectable amount of pressure.
However, despite the fact that hot glue can support a fair amount of weight, it is not particularly excellent at withstanding collisions. This is something that has to be made clear.
If you were to use hot glue to join two items together, it is likely that you would be able to break the resulting connection using just your own strength.
It is essential to realize that hot glue is, without a doubt, made of plastic, and that plastic, in and of itself, is a highly sturdy material.
The conclusion that can be drawn from this is that the glue, or the plastic that has been hardened, is strong on its own, but the connection that it creates is not very remarkable.
Although it is said that hot glue may be equally as strong as epoxy, our experience has shown us that this is not the case. Epoxy has a tendency to be more impact resistant and works better for strength applications.
When it comes down to it, you should almost never use hot glue for tasks that need a high level of strength.
It is not something that you would use to bind big things, create repairs that need to endure, do any kind of repair that has anything to do with moving components, or make any kind of repair that has to be able to withstand impact. Keep in mind as well that the hot glue is not very resistant to heat.
Keep in mind that hot glue is in no manner an adhesive that can be used in the construction industry or for structural purposes.
What are some applications for hot glue?
Now that you are familiar with what hot glue is, what it is constructed of, and how strong it is, let’s discuss the several applications for this kind of adhesive. First, let’s briefly go over the many kinds of materials that hot glue may adhere to, and then we’ll go through some of the key uses of hot melt adhesives, using examples and situations from real life.
What kinds of things can be bonded using hot glue?
One of the most essential things for you to understand is that hot glue is primarily intended for use on porous surfaces. This is one of the most critical things that you need to know.
The majority of the time, hot glue will not adhere to surfaces that are exceedingly smooth. Now, however, hot glue will only adhere to surfaces that are just relatively smooth and not exceptionally smooth surfaces. What’s more, it won’t adhere very well to any surface, regardless of whether or not it’s oily or damp.
You won’t be able to use hot glue to connect anything that has a very flat and smooth surface, such as metal, silicone, vinyl, or wax. These are all examples of materials that cannot be bonded with hot glue. To put it another way, there has to be some kind of surface roughness for the plastic to be able to adhere to anything that it can grasp onto.
When the hot glue dries, if there is no porosity involved in the material, it will simply rip right off of that surface since there is no roughness for it to hang onto.
Having said that, hot glue has the ability to connect a wide range of materials, including those that are porous or slightly porous, such as paper, construction paper, cardboard, wood, engineered wood, cloth, different plastics, foam, stone, and some kinds of glass, amongst other things.
It is important to note that for some reason there are a lot of publications out there that suggest that hot glue adheres extremely effectively to surfaces that are smooth and non-porous. This is something that you should keep in mind.
People, anybody who says this is obviously not aware of what they are talking about since it is in no way, shape, or form accurate in any manner that can be conceived of. If you have a really smooth piece of metal and you put hot glue on it, by the time the glue has cooled down and become firm, you will be able to practically peel it right off of the metal sheet. This only works if the metal is exceptionally smooth.
The Most Important Applications
Let’s take a look at some real-world examples of the principal uses of hot glue now that we’ve established the materials to which it adheres and the materials to which it does not adhere.
You are going to discover the answer. There are many applications for hot glue, but none of them are really structural in character. Despite this, hot glue is useful for a wide range of projects. All of these responsibilities are not very onerous.
What exactly is the purpose of hot glue?
The use of hot glue for arts and crafts is by far the most prevalent use for it in the context of home and classroom usage. It is quite simple to put into use. It forms a relationship really rapidly. In addition to being generally risk-free, it is an excellent adhesive for a wide variety of arts and crafts projects. Items such as papers, belts, plastic, imitation jewels, and similar things are included in this category.
The spines of books are held together using a kind of adhesive that melts when heated.
The use of hot glue to secure the flaps of corrugated boxes and paper cartoons is another one of the many popular applications for this kind of adhesive. In a nutshell, the manufacture of boxes makes use of hot glue.
In addition, hot glue is occasionally utilised in the production of low-end furniture, such as when MDF boards need to be glued together. It is not the most common kind of glue that is used for putting together furniture, but it is an alternative that may be considered.
It’s also possible to use hot melt adhesive to glue the cables and other components found on the interior of phones and other electronic gadgets.
The Many Benefits of Using Hot Glue
Let’s go over a few of the most important reasons why using hot glue rather than other types of glue or adhesives is preferable.
- Very low amount of garbage
- Long-life on the shelf
- Very low considerations with regard to the environment regarding disposal
- Extremely quick evaporation rate
- Lacking in the presence of volatile organic molecules.
- Resistant to the effects of solvents
- There is no reduction in thickness throughout the cooling process.
- Allows for the creation of colored glue when combined with color.
A Few Well-Known Brands
If you’re going to purchase hot glue, it goes without saying that you want the very finest of what’s available, and that includes selecting the appropriate brand every time. Gorilla Glue, Surebonder, Ad-Tech, Ewparts, and Artellius are just some of the top brands of hot glue that you should look into purchasing.
A Guide to Peeling Off Hot Glue
In the event that you accidentally get hot glue on your hands or clothing, there are a few simple techniques to get rid of it. To begin, in all likelihood, if you placed the hot glue on a level and smooth surface, you should be able to simply grip it and remove it off without any difficulty. Since hot glue does not adhere well with non-porous materials, you should be able to simply peel it off if you can get a knife or anything pointed under a corner and work your way around it.
In addition, hot glue is not very resistant to high temperatures. If you heat it up with a blow dryer until it becomes pliable, this should be more than enough to enable you to remove it from your skin. If the hot glue is highly tenacious, saturating the affected area with rubbing alcohol will help to loosen its grip on the surface. Alcohol in its purest form is the most effective method for rapidly and simply removing dried hot glue.
Things That Are Wrong With Hot Glue
It is important that you be aware of the many drawbacks associated with using hot glue, so let’s take a brief look at some of these issues.
Insulation from heat
Since melting is the process by which hot glue is turned into a liquid state, it is fair to claim that after it has dried, hot glue is not highly resistant to high temperatures. The low temperature variants are able to transform into a liquid state at temperatures as low as 80 degrees Celsius. Even if they don’t completely melt owing to the high temperatures, the bond strength will still be negatively affected by the tremendous heat.
A Resistance to Impact
It has been pointed out that this particular form of adhesive does not have very excellent resistance to impact. It is not intended to support weight, nor is it meant to be used on moving components, nor does it truly have anything to do with the structural integrity of a building.
Can become a Mess
Using a hot glue gun may be really messy, but the good news is that the mess is simple to clean up, despite the fact that becoming better at using one will make it simpler in the long run.
Demands the Use of Unique Equipment
In contrast to the vast majority of conventional adhesives, hot glue can only be applied using a special gun that is powered by electricity.
Surfaces that are not permeable
Although the results might vary depending on the material, in general, applying hot glue to highly smooth surfaces does not result in a strong connection.
What is the temperature at which hot glue will melt?
The vast majority of hot glue’s standard kinds will start to melt at temperatures ranging from 80 to 200 degrees Celsius.
Is flammability an issue with hot glue?
The flammability of hot glue is absent.
Who was the first to create hot glue?
Hot glue was first developed by Carl Weller.
What kinds of hot glue are there to choose from?
Both low-temperature and high-temperature hot glue are considered to be the two primary varieties of hot glue.
Is hot glue a carcinogen?
No, it is not harmful, provided that you do not use a very rare or unusual kind of hot glue. It is safe to consume this adhesive; there won’t be any adverse effects. It is comparable to swallowing chunks of solid plastic and then having those chunks travel through your system without being absorbed.
What is the operation of a hot glue gun?
These guns employ heating elements to melt the glue, and a specific pushing mechanism is used to push the stick forward through the heating element so that the melted plastic may be dispensed from the front of the gun. The pistol also uses heating elements to melt the plastic.
How do you produce glue sticks with hot glue?
We have included a video instruction for you on how to build your own hot glue sticks at home, and you can watch it right here.
All of the most essential information about hot glue has now been presented to you. I hope you found this article helpful. Since you now have a better understanding of what all of this entails, you will be in a much better position to choose the kind of glue that will be required for the next project you work on.