Global shipping has become essential for everyday life. And in many cases, shipping relies on the creation and sealing of cardboard boxes. Everyone from small businesses creating niche products to major shipping companies needs to decide what kind of adhesive they will use to bond the pieces of cardboard together for the boxes they’ll ship their products in. You do have some choices when it comes to which adhesive you’ll use. While water-based adhesives are usually the top choice, we’ll explain the three best glues for cardboard boxes below so you can make the decision for yourself.
1. Water-Based Adhesives (White glues)
Water-based adhesives are solvent free glues. They are commonly used for packaging because they are low cost and can be applied at room temperature and form a strong bond on cardboard. However, they do have longer open times and set speeds than some other options, so if you are producing a lot of cardboard boxes and/or run at very high speeds, you may want to consider other glues.
2. Water-Based Vegetable (Dextrin) Adhesives
This is another water-based glue option for cardboard boxes. It is often used as a low-cost alternative to resin-based glues. While water-soluble, they are suitable for making a strong bond between cardboard pieces. They can be applied at room temperature and are available in liquid. Typically however, due to their very long open times and slow set speeds, these adhesives are usually reserved for mounting/labelling applications on equipment such as an Automaton or Pot Devin.
3. Hot Melts
Not satisfied with your water-based options? If you’re processing a lot of cardboard boxes, we understand. Liquid forms of water-based adhesives aren’t always easy to use/apply or efficient enough. Plus, your staff has to wait quite a while for some of those solutions to bond. Hot melts can be applied easier with the help of glue guns and can achieve much faster bonds vs water-based adhesives. You may also be able to use an automated process if you’re working with hot melts which can have great advantages if you’re processing a high volume of cardboard boxes per day.
For packaging, there are three kinds of hot melts that you could use:
- Metallocene adhesives
- EVA based hot melts
- Pressure-sensitive hot melt
While there are many advantages of hot melts, there are also disadvantages. Hot melts cost more than their water based counterparts; hot melt needs to be melted down and requires specific equipment for this purpose as well as for the application. Further, as they do set faster, this means they are more convenient but they have a lower margin of error than water-based adhesives.
Choose Bond Tech for Your Cardboard Box Adhesive
Still not sure which of these glues you should use for your cardboard boxes? Reach out to Bond Tech Industries to discuss your adhesive options with a professional, we would be happy to help.