Most Common Acrylic Adhesive Questions Answered

One of the most common questions those in the industrial tape industry ask Mactac’s adhesive experts is: “How are UV acrylics different from other acrylics?”

And, the truth is, UV acrylics really aren’t that different. For example, we use the same acrylic polymers in both solvent and UV acrylics – so, basically, anything solvent acrylics can do, UV acrylics can do. However, when making UV acrylics, we substitute the thermal cross-linking mechanism used in solvent acrylic formulation, for a UV cross-linker. This change accounts for .5-percent to 1.0-percent of the total adhesive formula, which may seem minor, but the advantages that result are significant.

By eliminating the need for a solvent or aqueous/emulsion carrier for coating, 100-percent solids UV acrylic adhesives offer several advantages over their solution-based (solvent or emulsion) counterparts. 

  1. Cost Effective and Efficient. Since UV acrylic adhesives are applied as 100-percent solids (thus, no solvents or water are used), there is no need for large gas-fired drying ovens to drive off solvents or excess water. This results in substantially lower energy usage. Eliminating drying times also delivers major speed gains – especially for adhesives with heavier coat weights. On average, Mactac’s 2-side, 1-pass coating technology increases traditional solutions-based coating speeds of 25 to 100 feet-per-minute to more than 100 to 500 feet-per-minute with UV coating.
  2. Environmentally Friendly. Another significant advantage of UV-cured acrylic adhesives is they are low-outgassing and environmentally friendly. First, there are no retained solvents left behind from incomplete drying. And, the production process removes any residual monomers or chemicals from the adhesive for an ultra clean, pure adhesive. 
  3. Strong and Resistant. As mentioned earlier, like solvent acrylics, UV acrylics are cross-linked. This interconnection between polymer chains gives UV acrylics great adhesive strength and firmness. It also delivers resistance to temperatures as well as various chemicals like organic solvents, organic fluids, plasticizers, detergents, paints, etc. (In almost all instances, emulsion acrylics will not interconnect and, therefore, aren’t firm and won’t resist chemicals/temperatures).
  4. Flexible. With Mactac’s unique 100-percent adhesive coating technology, we can also vary the cross-linking (firmness of the adhesive) of UV acrylics as needed. For example, we can add modifiers such as tackifiers and plasticizers in order to increase adhesion properties or achieve better low-surface energy adhesion.
  5. Variety of Options. Finally, UV acrylics offer a variety of product construction options. The same silicone liners that work with solvent and emulsion acrylics are also compatible with UV acrylics. Additionally, with UV acrylics from Mactac – customers get much more than a “me too” offering. Unlike solutions-based acrylic tapes on the market, Mactac’s UV acrylic adhesive tapes are unique and original with highly customized adhesives that have been developed in-house.

Check out more on Mactac’s innovative UV acrylic tapes!