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What are Pressure-Sensitive Adhesives?

pressure-sensitive adhesives

Industrial adhesives are typically organized by either their reactiveness properties (whether it chemically reacts in order to harden), or by its origin (natural or synthetic.)

In the reactiveness category, one of the world’s most popular bonding solutions is the pressure sensitive adhesive or PSA.

So, what is a Pressure-Sensitive Adhesive?

Pressure-sensitive adhesives are designed to form a bond by the application of light “pressure ” to marry the PSA with whatever needs to be adhered together.

Why use a Pressure Sensitive Adhesive?

For the right applications, PSAs offer a unique balance between what we call “flow” and what we call “resistance to flow.”  For example, as the bond initially forms because the adhesive is soft enough to flow (i.e., “wet”), it then strengthens because the PSA is hard enough to “resist flow” when stress is applied to the bond.

Once the PSA and the elements to be adhered are in close proximity, molecular interactions become involved in the bond, contributing significantly to its ultimate strength.

Pressure-Sensitive Adhesive Applications

PSAs are typically designed for either permanent or removable applications.

Examples of some permanent applications include:

  • Safety labels for power equipment

  • Foil tape for HVAC duct work

  • Automotive interior trim assembly

  • Sound/vibration damping films

Examples of some removable adhesives applications include:

  • Surface protection films

  • Masking tapes

  • Bookmark and note papers

  • Barcodes labels

  • Price marking labels

  • Promotional graphics materials

  • Skin contact (e.g. wound care dressings, EKG electrodes, athletic tape, etc.)

Pressure-Sensitive Adhesive Manufacturing Process

Most PSAs are manufactured with either a liquid carrier or in 100% solid form.

  • Articles are made from liquid PSAs by coating the adhesive and drying off the solvent or water carrier. They may be further heated to initiate a cross-linking reaction and increase molecular weight.

  • 100% solid PSAs may be low viscosity polymers that are coated and then reacted with radiation to increase molecular weight and form the adhesive, or they may be high viscosity materials that are heated to reduce viscosity enough to allow coating, and then cooled to their final form.

  • Major raw material for PSA’s are acrylate-based polymers.

Are you looking for a pressure-sensitive adhesive for your business?

To Contact Evans Adhesive or request a free sample, simply click here.