Many advantages come with packaging adhesive and sealant products in sausages. Without taking any other factors into consideration, the sausage itself represents an initial cost savings of typically 25-50% compared to a conventional cartridge, depending on the type of film required.
Shelf life is another important aspect. Sausage packaging uses a flat film that is then formed into a sausage and clipped with product inside. As a result, no air is introduced during the filling process. Films are also available that provide an excellent moisture barrier, such as multi-layered film with a trapped aluminum. Along with the air-tight clip closure, this results in extended shelf life.
Space savings should also be taken into account when considering sausage packaging. One roll of 1,000-m film that is formed into sausages can take the place of over 2,000 pre-formed cartridges (about two pallets). This results in substantial warehouse space savings and reduced incoming shipment costs.
Another key benefit of sausage packaging is lower disposal costs. Since an empty sausage container is basically a small, compressed, foil disc that is 10% the size of a typical empty cartridge, disposal cost savings can reach 90%. In addition, sausages result in 90% less waste going to the landfill, which is a key component in environmental sustainability.
One Size Need Not Fit All
Although the industry-standard sizes in the U.S. are 300- and 600-ml sausage packages, many other options are now available and used worldwide. On the low end of the spectrum is the 40-ml size, typically an 18-mm diameter sausage. Sausages of this size are currently being used as squeeze tube replacements for products such as threadlocking adhesives, hand cleaners, and product samples.
On the upper end of spectrum is the 40-l pack, which is usually packaged into a 150-mm diameter sausage. Typically intended as a liner for a reusable pail or container, this size of sausage generally contains products such as drywall paste or any product that can be pumped.
One of the newest sausages being utilized is reclosable. These packages are produced in sizes from 80-250 ml. Automatic and semi-automatic packaging equipment can be used to apply the reclosable cap to the sausage pack. The caps are also available with a self-piercing feature, which eliminates the need to cut off the clip before use.
Reclosable sausage packs are ideal for adhesives and sealants directed to the do-it-yourself market. The 80-ml size, which can be dispensed via gun, represents a viable replacement for squeeze tubes that are currently displayed in blister packs. Since the cap has a hanger available, this further reduces the packaging cost. The 250-ml size, with a reclosable and self-piercing cap, can be dispensed with a typical over-the-counter caulking gun by using a reusable sausage sleeve. This eliminates the need for a specialty sausage dispensing gun.
Sausages are also being used to package two-component products. Since the sausages can be customized in diameter and length, it is possible to make two-component systems in ratios from 1:1 through 10:1. Guns are also available to dispense the same ratios.
Advances for Flooring Applications
The flooring adhesive industry is utilizing sausages for its products, typically in a package of 1.8-2 l. Guns are available to accept this size of sausage for easy application.
In fact, some of the guns have the ability to dispense three sausages at once, side by side, resulting in more time dispensing product and less time changing sausages. This style of gun is also used in a standing position, which is more ergonomic than bending over to remove the adhesive from a pail. The applicator on the end of the gun dispenses beads of adhesive that are the same size of the product being adhered, which eliminates the need for kneeling on the floor and using a trowel. The complete compression of the sausage results in less waste than what would have usually been left behind in a pail, resulting in a higher percentage of the product being dispensed.
Sausage packaging enjoys continuing advancements in packaging equipment, available films, and different guns and applicators to dispense materials. As a result, there really is no limitation to the use of this type of package for adhesives and sealants.
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