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MMD > Archives > February 2007 > 2007.02.15 > 11Prev  Next

Hot-melt, Heat-seal & Hot-set Adhesives
By Grant Chapman, NY

Re: 070214 MMDigest, Rebuilding Parts Damaged by Hot Melt Glue

John Tuttle mentions hot melt glues and reversibility.  He doesn't
mention the particular type of glue and may not be in a position to
figure out what it really is, so I am going to guess that it is one
of the wax based products.

I like your idea of chilling the parts and then using a chisel, and
have done so myself. If you do sand the parts I would suggest you not
sand with the grain.  Also, if you keep the temperature down you will
not get into the plastic/melting range of the adhesive.  It is my
understanding that it is not possible to remove all of this adhesive
from wood.

For those of you interested, the following is from a conservation journal:

 - - -

JAIC 1978, Volume 18, Number 1, Article 6 (pp. 44 to 45)
On Hot-melt, Heat-seal and Hot-set Adhesives
Gustav A. Berger

This brief note is prompted by what seems to be a confusion among
members of the AIC in the usage of three terms which are established
and well-defined in adhesive technology.  They are:

1. Hot-melt adhesives, such as wax-resin mixtures,
2. Heat-seal adhesives, such as Beva and PVA,
3. Hot-set (or heat-set) adhesives, such as epoxy resins.

To clear up the confusion I quote from the adhesives glossary published
by the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM, D 907­74) and from
the Adhesives Handbook by J. Shields (CRC Press, 1970):

Adhesive, hot-melt: "An adhesive that is applied in a molten state and
forms a bond on cooling to the solid state" (ASTM).

Shields elaborates: "An adhesive material applied at a temperature
above its melting point.  Usually thermoplastic, wax or 100% solids:
adhesives applied between 150 and 200 deg. C."

In the technology of art conservation, wax and wax-resin mixtures are
adhesives of this type. They are applied in liquid form; they are
absorbed by and penetrate through all the porosities of the materials
to which they are applied and often stain them.  Because of the depth of
their penetration, total removal of such adhesives from the impregnated
materials becomes impossible...

 - - -

The rest of the article can be found here:

There are universal adhesive dissolvers; however, I do not know of
anyone who has ever tried them on wood.

Best of luck,
Wm. G. Chapman
West Point, New York

(Message sent Thu 15 Feb 2007, 20:17:08 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Adhesives, Heat-seal, Hot-melt, Hot-set

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