Jeff Johnson, MAPEI.

With the rise of isocyanate-free adhesive products and other technological changes in the adhesives segment,NFTasked a group of adhesives manufacturers about recent changes in the category.

Jack Raidy, Jr., W.F. Taylor.

Our panel includes: Sonny Callaham, Royalty Adhesives & Sealants (ParaChem) product marketing manager; Bill Clossin, Franklin International flooring market manager; Dave Darche, Bona US adhesives sales and market manager; Chris Eichert, Custom Building Products’ product manager; David Ford, Stauf Adhesives vp sales and marketing; Jeff Johnson, MAPEI’s floor covering installation systems business marketing manager; Bruce Newbrough, Ardex Americas’ application development/product advancement director; Jack Raidy, Jr., W.F. Taylor president; Larry Scott, DriTac technical director; Michelle Swiniarski, director of product market, adhesives for QEP’s Roberts and Capitol brands; D. Michael Umbarger, Bostik Inc. technical service manager, consumer & construction div.; and Greg Wood, Advanced Adhesive Technologies president.

David Ford, Stauf Adhesives.

To a question about the rise of multi-purpose adhesives, virtually all of the respondents said it is the result of fast-track construction and people looking to spend less money and time on an installation. Additional questions were met with different responses and are following.

What do you consider the latest technological advancement in the adhesives segment?
Darche:I consider the silane-based products to represent a natural (and welcome) advancement in adhesive technology. Organo-silanes were originally developed and used in the 1950s as coupling agents for a variety of manufactured products, which eventually led to the development of “MS [modified silane] polymers.”

Bruce Newbrough, Ardex Americas.

Eichert:With the advancements in dried polymers, the need for liquid additives and two-part systems for thin-set mortars is a bygone era. Additionally, alternatives to aggregates, such as lightweight recycled materials, have proven to create a whole new breed of cement-based mortars.

Ford:New are urethane glues that do not have the terrible etching and cleaning problems of earlier generation urethanes. New formulations offer greater shear strength, yet can be cleaned from slick surfaces or from wood and other surfaces with mineral spirits.

Johnson:The latest technological advancements include formula changes to existing products that incorporate new research discoveries. These changes are represented by innovations such as dual-function products, phthalate-free and isocyanate-free formulas and by the use of rapidly renewable raw materials.

Dave Darche, Bona US.

Newbrough:Manufacturers have begun to accept that high-moisture concrete also means high pH concrete and oftentimes it is this high pH that breaks down the adhesive leading to a flooring system failure. R&D efforts pointed in this direction have led several flooring manufacturers to allow installation of their products over slabs that would otherwise have required an expensive moisture remediation system.

Raidy:The growing use of modified silane (MS) polymer in adhesive formulations.

Scott:Multi-functional, total flooring solution adhesives that offer the most stringent environmental requirements are the latest technological advancement in adhesives today.

Swiniarski:New hybrid polymers that add enhanced features to products.

Larry Scott, Dri-Tac.

Umbarger:Adhesives offering moisture mitigation and sound reduction in addition to adhesive proprieties are part of the new technology. The green movement has also been taken in consideration in the evolution of these adhesives. Some of them incorporate recycled raw materials, which contribute to LEED credits.

Wood:Across a number of segments, the latest advancements in adhesives are in the area of moisture-resistant formulas that allow floor coverings to be installed over substrates that, just a short time ago, would have been out of spec.

Why are changes in formulations taking place (i.e. the rise of isocyanate-free products)?
Manufacturers have had to go back to the drawing board to develop cleaner and safer products for our industry. Our biggest challenge is explaining the physical differences in the new adhesive products to flooring contractors and that the end result will be the same.

Bill Clossin, Franklin International.

Clossin:We strive to bring products to market that are easier to apply, speed up the flooring installation process, enhance installation quality as well as meet increasingly rigorous VOC regulations and stronger customer demand for environmentally friendly formulations.

Darche:Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) in Europe and LEED certification in the U.S. are helping to shape construction practices to minimize the environmental impact they produce, as well as providing a life cycle assessment in construction materials used.

Eichert:With the explosion of different tile types in composition, size, weight and thickness, today’s polymer-modified cement-based mortars are formulated and designed to provide higher bond strengths, greater flexibility and the support of heavy tile or stone.

Ford:Market demands and health concerns are two reasons changes in formulations are taking place.

D. Michael Umbarger, Bostik.

Johnson:Recently, major influence has been the emphasis on formulating products that have a greater focus on environmental sustainability. For example, replacing phthalate plasticizers with rapidly renewable raw materials, as well as the use of post-consumer recycled content in place of traditional mineral-type fillers.

Newbrough:Certainly the emphasis on LEED building has impacted the adhesive industry just as it has all aspects of construction. If you look at the trickle-down effect that this has had on the actual flooring materials being used, you will find that we are attempting to adhere flooring that is made from materials that were totally foreign to us just a few years ago.

Michelle Swinarski, Roberts/Capitol.

Raidy:The European Union is moving towards international restriction of isocyanate bearing products, and this will most probably spread to the United States.

Swiniarski:Adhesive formulations continue to trend toward more environmentally conscious formulations, ease of application and enhanced capabilities.

Umbarger:Health and safety are two of the most important things to an adhesive developer. This will cause adhesive developers to continuously reduce the VOC content. It also requires them to understand the risks associated with their formulation because no adhesive can be considered 100 percent safe.

An installer uses Parabond 4096 adhesive from Royal Adhesives & Sealants.

Wood:As always, change is proceeded by need or demand, and advancements in chemistry.

Can you offer our readers a glimpse of a new product you’ll be releasing soon?
Callaham:We are always evaluating ways to make our products greener with less impact on our environment.

Clossin:We have integrated our expertise into a high-performing one-step adhesive and moisture control system: Titebond 771-Step. It also features a VOC content of less than 50 g/L during cure.

An installer works with MAPEI’s Ultrabond ECO 885 carpet adhesive. Photo courtesy of MAPEI.

Darche:We are introducing Bona R850T to the U.S. market, which is packaged in a 20-ounce sausage tube and dispensed in a lightweight applicator gun. This product provides a perfect alternative to unsightly face nailing of close-out and starter rows, as well as board replacements.

Eichert:Our EBM-Lite – Epoxy Bonding Mortar is a new 100% solids epoxy mortar, utilizing recycled content not only to qualify for LEED credits but to improve the nature of an epoxy to work like thin-set mortar but perform like an epoxy. The high-performing MegaLite and ProLite thin-set mortars are now available in rapid setting formulas.

Custom Building Products’ EBM-Lite epoxy bonding mortar.

Ford:The Stauf lab has tested for several years in Europe an adhesive that will adhere to existing cutback mastic without dissolving it. With Stauf’s new CBR-970 Renovator, the cutback mastic can be simply leveled, the remainder left in place, and the CBR-970 spread directly over it.

Johnson:MAPEI has just released a unique new carpet adhesive designed to adhere new, totally recyclable carpet backing systems. MAPEI’s Ultrabond ECO 885 can be used for both carpet tile and broadloom products and can be used for both permanent and releasable installations.

Newbrough:The moisture in concrete issue isn’t going to go away soon, and new raw materials and new flooring structures are being developed every day. Add to this the LEED requirements and the reduction in SKUs that our customers want and thus the importance of developing a product to address those needs.

Bona R850T adhesive, with applicator gun.

Raidy:We will be releasing several new products this summer.

Scott:We will be expanding our green product offering and introducing new zero VOC and zero solvent products in the coming months, including DriTac Moisture Block 3-In-1, a green urethane adhesive, concrete moisture control and crack suppressant system all in one four-gallon pail.

Swiniarski:Our R1530 All-in-One solvent-free wood flooring adhesive, which offers sound reduction, adhesive and moisture barrier all in a single application for all types of glue down wood and bamboo flooring.

Franklin International’s Titebond 771-Step.

Umbarger:Bostik is working to further reduce moisture permeation rates of all our adhesives to protect wood floors. This will be done through further advancements in polyurethane chemistry that is only possible when you are capable of synthesizing proprietary polymers.

Wood:Products like our Problem Solver Triton series now provide contractors and end-users a higher degree of protection against the industry’s nemesis: High-moisture emissions and high relative humidity in concrete subfloors.