Hot melt has a large number of applications that most people encounter on a daily basis. For food packaging, from breakfast with a glued box of muesli, lunch with the glued label on the peanut butter jar and dessert delivered in a glued box in the shop. Even at night you will probably be lying on a mattress glued together with hot melt glue, during the day you will go to work in your car where a large part of the interior is glued, like the textile in the chairs to the foam. Gluing, much of which is hot melt, is a proven efficient technology that is widely used on a daily basis.
Cleaning hot melt equipment
And yet there are many production processes that are not yet equipped with a hot melt application, in addition to all the benefits, there is a risk with this advanced hot melt. Although most hot melt adhesives are virtually harmless to human health, the processing temperature poses a serious safety risk. Add to this the fact that the adhesive is usually processed in high-pressure adhesive systems between 10 and 30 BAR, and it immediately sounds logical that you don’t just replace an adhesive head. Avoid serious burns and be vigilant before, during and even after use. Good maintenance of adhesive equipment and the use of thermostable adhesives are the basis of a stable production and safe working environment. our best defence against injury from hot melt adhesives. Our team of installers and maintenance engineers will help you take some of the most important basic safety precautions when working with a hot melting device. Precautions to be taken before starting to work with Hot Melt adhesive equipment
Read the manual and data sheet of the hot melt
Why not give yourself a moment to at least collect the manual of the hot melt device and the data sheet of the glue? Perhaps this knowledge alone will make any malfunction a lot easier to solve. The user manual will not only tell you the basics for setting up and maintaining your equipment, but will probably also contain some useful tips on safety measures. An investment in the time you spend reading the instructions is also an investment in your safety, and will soon be recouped.
Check your hot melt adhesive equipment
Hot melt system maintenance and repair
A hot melt is a solid substance at room temperature; it only becomes liquid at a relatively high temperature, usually around 100°C. The processing temperature is usually between 100°C and 200°C. Moreover, it is usually processed at a considerable pressure, about 10 to 30 Bar. It is recommended to visually inspect the hose couplings and the application head once more. In this way, the application head must be free of cracks or other damage. Adhesive hoses and heads should not contain any clogs, holes or cracks, Tie-Wraps to secure hot melt hoses are undesirable. El electrical wires must be securely intact and safely insulated. Provide good protection, at least gloves and goggles. Gloves should preferably be long and thermoresistant. Beware of any moving machine parts, often compressed air is needed on the hot melt unit to pump the adhesive, this may put the whole machine in operation. Water is friend and foe, an adhesive tank of 180°C gives explosive effects with water. In case you unexpectedly catch a fireblister, it is strongly recommended to cool down immediately in water of your body part. Usually this also works fast and well. Leave the hot melt in place until the skin has recovered from the heat. DO NOT TRY TO REMOVE HOT MELT FROM YOUR SKIN! You may want to keep the environment clean, it is wise to cover the floor with a material that is not sensitive to melting, for example. Make sure there are no loose flammable materials lying around that could catch fire.
Hot melt equipment maintenance
The hot melt must have the correct processing temperature. Too cold can cause wire formation or droplets, too hot dripping, splashing and satellite formation. Too cold can give too short an open time, too hot can give too long a pressing time.
Working safely during production
Many accidents at work happen when the focus and concentration is low, or production stress is high. Unfortunately, it only takes a fraction of a second of distraction to lead to disastrous and sometimes painful conditions. Always be aware of the hot glue tank and the pressure that usually remains on the glue system, even during machine downtime. Preferably work with other people around you. Keep your thoughts on the job, whether you need to communicate with a colleague, answer the phone or perform another task that divides your attention – just put the gun down .
Wear appropriate clothing and protective equipment
Standard is of course that you already have a work coat and safety gloves on. It is also standard to wear heat-resistant work gloves and eye protection.
Keep track of the settings and state of bonding
You already read the manual when you put it into operation, didn’t you? The temperature and pressure are set correctly? Then also check regularly whether the adhesive image is correct with the basic settings. It is possible that the adhesive will burn over time, do you apply the correct temperature settings? Does the hot melt device go on standby or off, with a time switch for example? Can more thermostable, Polyolefin hot melt adhesives be used? Do you apply enough glue in the right place? And also not too much?
“hot” melt is HOT!
This may seem very obvious, but the daily routine sometimes causes things to be forgotten. So here’s the reminder: hot melt glue, the glue tank and the glue cup is hot ! Never touch the glue head without gloves, e.g. to change a nozzle.
SAFETY DOES NOT STOP IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE HOT MELT HAS BEEN APPLIED, NOT EVEN WHEN THE MACHINE IS “OFF”.
The hot melt can stay warm for a long time, even after it has been applied. If the machine is switched off, there may still be pressure on the adhesive system, and the adhesive unit may even have to be switched off separately!
CLEAN HOT MELTING EQUIPMENT IS SAFER
Switching to a new adhesive, machine downtime and standard old maintenance sometimes require a thorough cleaning of the hot melt equipment. Well-functioning equipment has several advantages, including your own personal safety and operating results. In addition to the complete maintenance, we also supply cleaning agents, which can differ in type per maintenance.
SHOULD ANYONE BURN THEMSELVES
If hot melt does come into contact with the skin, submerge the area concerned in (ice) water. A physician may ask for a Safety Data Sheet (SDS), which should always be available in environments where hot melt is used. In case of contact with critical organs such as the eyes, seek immediate medical attention. Be aware of these most essential safety precautions when working with hot melt adhesive to reduce the risk of harm to yourself, another person or your environment. For more tips on safety measures or advice, please contact us. Also take a look at our range of solid, clean and reliable adhesive equipment, such as glue guns, glue cartridges, and bulk hot melt equipment.