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Shipping "Freezable" Adhesives During Winter Weather

Hot Melt Glue - Freezable AdhesiveWinter is almost here! As the temperature drops and the snowflakes fall, we may think of the holidays, sledding, skiing, a warm fire or even getting away to a warmer climate. How many of us think about adhesives? If you said yes, you are either an adhesives sales representative, adhesive manufacturer or need to get a life!

Seriously, if you order, use, or ship glue in the cold months, you SHOULD be thinking about it!

While hot melt glue is mostly immune to colder temperatures, water-based adhesives are very sensitive to the cold. Since most water actually freezes at 32ºF, your water base glue will too.

But what if the adhesive product arrives frozen? Just let it thaw? It’s not an option! Once water based glue freezes, it’s probably a goner. Emulsion adhesives, contain very, very tiny glue solids which are suspended by a “protective colloid.” This protection keeps the particles, which are heavier than water, suspended in the water and keeps them from settling to the bottom of the container. When the glue is frozen, the particles clump together and/or fall to the bottom. Glue with all those clumps will never be able to stick anything together. Dextrin adhesives, however, are somewhat different.  Because they are solutions, often times they will be usable after some stirring.

So how do you know if a product is frozen? It’s not always easy. The first thing you need to do is to open the container and do an inspection. If you see lumps floating on the top (looks like cottage cheese), ice crystals, or even worse, a solid, it has been frozen. Feel the outside of the container. If it feels very cold, all the more reason to inspect the liquid itself. Get yourself a thermometer and keep it in your receiving department. That way you can determine the actual temperature when you took it off the truck. This won’t be the absolute determination whether it was frozen or not, but if it comes in at 55 degrees or higher, you can probably feel safe that the product is good.

Another quick check is to see when the product was actually shipped. If you buy in a tote tank or 55 gallon drum, the adhesive has a lot of internal heat. That helps to keep it from freezing. So, short overnight trips typically are not an issue. However, if the glue has been on the road for several days, be very cautious and check the adhesive thoroughly.

If your glue left from Ohio on Monday and arrived at your facility in Ohio on Friday, you may have a problem with your adhesive – especially if the weather was very cold. That’s why we never ship waterbased products on a Friday in winter months. If we did, the glue would sit in a truck for two to three days and if the weather is cold enough, freezing would occur.

In winter months we always require that freight companies who haul our “freezable” products protect them from being frozen. When they accept and sign for pails, drums or totes, they guarantee that the material will arrive at your location in good condition. If the product does freeze, the shipping company is responsible.

If you ever suspect that a shipment of water based glue has been frozen, be sure to contact us at 440-786-7185 immediately. As an industrial adhesive supplier and manufacturer, we can help you make a determination whether you should accept or reject the product.

Ken Schonauer, Sales Systems and Support Manager
ken.schonauer@haradhesive.com
440-786-7185

We invite readers to use the links below to find and contact a local adhesives representative that can help with your company's industrial adhesives needs: HAR Adhesive Technologies has a presence in seven distinct states, uniquely focused on serving the adhesives, adhesive application, and equipment needs of each region in: OhioIndianaKentuckyMichiganNew YorkPennsylvaniaWest Virginia

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November 6, 2014 6:56 AM

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