Tuesday, October 02, 2012

More working safety and higher efficiency

With its range of emission-reduced polyurethane hotmelt adhesives (PUR hotmelts), Henkel is setting new standards of occupational health and safety in the graphic arts industry. The innovative adhesives of the Purmelt MicroEmission series are a response to the growing awareness of the need for sustainable production processes in the industry and are recommended by accident insurance institutions. At Drupa 2012, Henkel is presenting improved products for spine binding and also emission-reduced PUR hotmelts for side gluing and endpapering.

By using emission-reduced PUR hotmelts, a growing number of bookbinders are creating a safer working environment on the shop floor. Henkel therefore has developed its Purmelt MicroEmission series, a trusted range of PUR hotmelts that are exempt from hazard labeling. Many products from competitors in the industry despite their excellent performance profile for book and magazine production, are classified as hazardous and therefore call for additional protective measures.

Significantly reduced application temperature with Purmelt ME Cool, QR Cool
The latest development is Purmelt MicroEmission Cool 3400 with an application temperature much lower than that of standard products. This reduces energy consumption and significantly speeds up processes. The result is an extremely strong bond and reliable processing, even with low adhesive consumption.

With its low-emission hotmelt Purmelt MicroEmission Cool 3400, Henkel is offering a new product that provides another significant plus in terms of environmental efficiency and health and safety. This is the first non-hazardous PUR hotmelt that allows the application temperature to be reduced from 120 to 130 degrees Celsius to as low as 99 degrees Celsius with no loss of performance. Furthermore a Cool variety of the Purmelt QR series has been added.

Bookbinders don’t need extraction systems anymore

Regardless of whether the new Cool version or the established standard version is used, all Purmelt MicroEmission adhesives are exempt from hazard labeling. Conventional polyurethane hotmelts carry the Xn hazard symbol. This is because they contain up to 5 percent monomeric isocyanates that are given off as vapors into the ambient air during processing at elevated temperatures and can irritate the respiratory organs, eyes and skin, or cause allergies.

Production plant and melters therefore have to be equipped with extraction systems, and special employee training is a useful added precaution. Furthermore, according to the law in some parts of Europe, hazardous substances subject to compulsory labeling have to be separately stored, which imposes an extra burden on businesses.

Monomeric isocyanates in the air are reduced

Purmelt MicroEmission adhesives, on the other hand, contain only 0.1 percent monomeric isocyanates. This puts them well below the threshold for statutory labeling as a hazardous substance and eliminates the need for extra extraction equipment and other processing precautions. Independent institutes have tested MicroEmission adhesives in authentic operating conditions on all commonly used binding machines and application systems and confirmed the reduction in monomeric isocyanates in the working atmosphere by up to 90 percent.

The Cool version does even better. The low processing temperature reduces the vapor pressure of the monomeric isocynates to an extremely low level, which significantly reduces emissions. This practically eliminates any emissions of the already minimal content of these compounds, substantially improving health and safety levels in comparison with conventional polyurethane adhesives. As a result, the potentially health hazardous effects of reactive adhesive systems is reduced to an absolute minimum. No special safety precautions are required.

Statutory accident insurance institution suggests MicroEmmission products

The German statutory accident insurance institution therefore explicitly recommends that firms use MicroEmission products. Purmelt MicroEmission products also comply with the strict environmental protection standards in Scandinavian countries and have been carrying the Nordic Swan environmental label since 2008. Moreover, the products conform to the European Chemicals Regulation REACH.

MicroEmission also available for side gluing and endpapering

Some adhesives from the Purmelt MicroEmission range have been specially developed for side gluing and endpapering. It should be noted that they are designed exclusively for nozzle application. All PURmelts are optionally also available as granules, which can be poured straight into the gluing unit for trial purposes. This way, Henkel is making the changeover to this forward-looking product category even simpler for interested bookbinders.

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