3 Simple Ways to Optimize Your HotMelt Performance

Published on March 25, 2024

The hotmelt used by your organization may not often be top-of-mind – at least not until you run into problems with it. The recommendations below are intended to help you avoid issues and ensure you’re getting the best performance for your investment.

1. Select the right adhesive

Choosing the correct hotmelt formula plays a critical role in the effectiveness of your case sealing operation. Different substrate types require different types of adhesive, so you’ll want to consider factors like UV or wax coatings, recycled board content, and inks, along with environmental factors like temperature – both in your storage facility as well as during transport. Also consider how resistant your hotmelt is to chemicals, oils, or other products your cases may contain, in the event your product is compromised.

Not sure where to begin? Consult with one of Pearson’s hotmelt experts, who will learn about your application to help identify the best-suited formula to fit the job.

2. Prevent char formation

Charring diminishes the effectiveness of your adhesive and can clog nozzles or even cause permanent damage to your glue tanks over time. Here are a few ways to reduce the risks of charring:

  • Avoid mixing adhesives – Always make sure to follow the proper steps to flush your unit if you need to switch formulas. We walk you through the process in this short demonstration video.
  • Don’t exceed the recommended run temperature & shut tanks off when not in use – Beyond the risk of charring, setting your glue tank’s temperature too hot can damage the chemistry of your adhesive, causing degradation and viscosity gain. Avoid increasing the temperature setting of system components to shorten warm-up times and turn your tanks off or set them to stand-by mode when not in use.
  • Keep tanks full – Frequently refill your tank with small amounts of adhesive on shorter intervals to avoid thermal shocking. When the tank is left to run low, the thin layer of glue that coats the interior of the empty tank is highly susceptible to charring when exposed to oxygen.
  • Prevent exposure & contamination – Store your hotmelt in a sealed container and keep your tanks closed as tightly as possible to minimize exposure to oxygen, moisture, dirt, or other debris.
  • Follow manufacturer recommended maintenance schedules – Routine maintenance should be executed as described by your adhesive/equipment provider and according to schedule. At minimum, performing regular flushing and filter changes will help prolong the life of your hot melt dispensing system.

3. Watch for signs of adhesive degradation

Keep an eye out and contact your adhesive provider if you’re experiencing any of the following:

  • No or minimal adhesive output resulting in the need to increase pump pressure
  • Sub-par flap bonding
  • Frequent nozzle clogs or the extrusion of small/pepper-like flakes
  • Discolored, smoking, or unusual-smelling hotmelt


Interested in scheduling a consultation with adhesive experts at Pearson to optimize your adhesive application?

Interested in testing a Pearson hot melt formula tailored to your application needs?

Contact us for a free sample and quote.