Solvent and solvent free adhesives

Solvent and solvent free adhesives
February 23, 2018 Michael Hawkins

The difference between solvent based and solvent free adhesives

Adhesive come in all types, and for various situations. Choosing the right one could be difficult for some. You may be wondering why you can buy solvent free adhesives and how they differ from solvent based equivalent.

Well below are laid out are the main characteristics between these two types of adhesives.

Solvent based

  • Strong odour
  • Strong adhesion
  • Sets quickly
  • Difficult to remove
  • Messy to work with

Solvent free

  • Water based
  • Odourless
  • Easy to work with
  • Easy to remove
  • Safer to work with in small spaces
  • Long setting time

The main difference between the two is that solvents free is water based and contains less than 5% of solvents, whereas the the solvent based contains a much larger amount.

This makes them safer and more comfortable to use in small spaces like bathrooms, due to the low odour/odourless attributes of the adhesive.

Why shouldn’t I just use solvent based adhesive?

Due to their harmful effects on air quality, especially in small spaces, they can have adverse effects on asthma sufferers when used in large amounts. They will also cause mild headaches and dizziness when used in large amounts.

Important tip: When using solvent based adhesive in a small area, make sure it is well ventilated. Open a window or door to allow sufficient airflow through the area.

You may use solvent based adhesives such as silicone sealant for sealing wet areas. This will likely be used in relatively small amounts in comparison to what is used to fix cladding panels to surfaces.

We always recommend using solvent free for fixing your panels to surfaces. They are water based making them more workable, less messy, and easier to remove if needed.

The longer setting time will also give you more time to work and move the panels if required, giving you plenty time to finish the job and make adjustments if needed.

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