Questions and answers in the adhesives and sealants field.

Question:Our business manufactures adhesives for a variety of uses, and we think we can produce a product equal to or superior to the commercially available products used for laying resilient-type flooring. Before embarking on this effort, I’d like to better understand how large the market for these types of adhesives is and how to access this market.

Answer: ChemQuest maintains a highly detailed database on both the U.S. and European adhesives industry. This database suggests the market for adhesives used in installing resilient flooring is well over 200 million dry pounds of adhesive across the United States and Western Europe. However, the Western European market is significantly smaller than its U.S. counterpart. Accessing this market can be quite complex and challenging, as various forms of distribution are required to serve the highly fragmented end-user base. An attractive product offering as well as access to the distribution channels would be necessary to launch a new product line to this end-use market. Data on other market segments as well as technology trends are available online at -ROGER LOHMAN

Question: I have a need to adhere a small acrylic hinge to two pieces of glass, and so far I have tried what I believe to be everything on the market, including, epoxy, silicone, UV adhesives and many others. What do you suggest?

Answer: Bonding to many plastics, including acrylics, often requires some type of surface preparation. Abrading the surface followed by a degreaser such as methyl alcohol would greatly influence the bond. An epoxy adhesive should work for this application. You might try changing to a different epoxy to see if that provides better adhesion. However, you might also try using an acrylic adhesive to obtain a good bond. -ROGER LOHMAN

Question: We are a custom footwear maker in California looking for biodegradable adhesives to use in the production of footwear. We are currently using a product called “Barge Cement,” which is the industry standard. We are looking for a non-toxic, biodegradable adhesive with which to bond leather. Do you know of such a product and who I might contact?

Answer: There are many bonding applications involving footwear manufacturing. I know of no biodegradable adhesive used for bonding leather soles. In fact, I cannot imagine a situation whereby one would want to use a biodegradable for bonding the soles. In reference to some internal shoe construction, there are various types of adhesives that find use, such as contact cements, hot melts and others. A waterborne, natural rubber latex can be used in some applications, and perhaps this is what you are asking. These types of adhesives should be available from the main shoe-adhesives manufacturers such as Imperial Adhesives, 513-351-1300; Bostik, 978-777-0100; or Pierce & Stevens, 716-856-4910. There are other suppliers as well, and you could check with your local distributor for that information. -ROGER LOHMAN