Sustainable Adhesives for Laminates

Recommendations for "green" contact adhesives for use with laminate material, and a closer look at the details of the rules. October 3, 2011

I have a new job specification. A "green" or "sustainable adhesive" for plastic laminate work - is there such a monster? If there is, what works well?

Forum Responses
(Adhesive Forum)
From contributor U:
Our understanding of "green", although limited, is a product that would contribute to LEED certification. With laminate work the product would include the core, hpl, balance sheet and adhesive. Each of these can earn LEED points Adhesives earn points under LEED EQ Credit 4.1 Incidentally, an adhesive can be "C.A.R.B." compliant, but not LEED certifiable.

The adhesive manufacturer will provide a technical data sheet which should indicate if the product contributes to LEED. National Casein for example, gives you that information on the "Product Data Sheet". 3-M has two glues which are "Greenguard" certified. These 3-M adhesives are both sprayable and contribute LEED points to the project/products.

From contributor R:
I second 3M's products. We use their 94 CA which is greenguard certified. It sprays well, and bonds as well or better than other contact adhesives we have used. If you are applying laminate using a hot press, National Casein has a product called PL 1000 that is compliant with all LEED criteria. Good luck.

From the original questioner:
I see the 3M waterbase contacts. What’s the difference between the 30NF and the 2000NF? They claim four times the coverage compared to solvent based contact cements, anyone actually made this test to compare cost of coverages?

From contributor R:
I haven't done anything with their waterbased stuff. I am still hesitant to use anything waterbased due to bad experiences in the past. I would stick with the 94 CA because it complies with all LEED requirements unless you are looking to go to an entirely waterbased production system.

From contributor O:
We have switched to the 94CA as well because it meets the LEED requirements. If you are using a press, we use National Casein PC 2365 as it does not contain urea formaldehyde and meets VOC limits.

From the original questioner:
How does the cost/yield of 94CA compare to other solvent and water based contact cements?

From contributor H:
LEED certified contact cements are also available from NorthStar Adhesives. NorthStar is sold under the name Premier and StarStuck throughout the U.S. As to Waterbase adhesives, the old styles did have some problems, but the companies have worked through those initial hassles. The hardest part of working with the waterbase contact cements is the longer dry time. Any of the good companies will be willing to sample you a small amount so you can see it work.

From contributor O:
Cost is definitely higher but you get more solid content (adhesive) and fewer solvents (carrier). You don't have to spray as heavy due to less solvent/more solids content, so it about evens out, or maybe costs a bit more. There is a learning curve involved. It is also better for the guys since they don't have to smell solvents all day. You can market yourself as an environmentally friendly company.