Strytech Group Inc. - Blog

Industrial Adhesives-Trends in the HMPSA Raw Material Market

Posted by Howard Neal on May 16, 2012 1:23:00 PM


Here is information that will be of interest to those who purchase HMPSA products regarding  the trend in the raw material market, specifically SBS(Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene)block copolymer.

"Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene block copolymer (SBS) is a unique copolymer with extensive application, largest output, and lowest cost. SBS offers excellent surface friction coefficient, little permanent deformation, great tensile strength, excellent low-temperature behavior, great workability and good electric property. The polymer is extensively used in applications such as shoemaking, asphalt modification, polymer modification, liquid seal materials, waterproof coatings, electric wires, automobile components, electric cables and medical apparatuses among several others. Currently the SBS market continues to face crunch emanating from rising prices of crude oil. The effect of such volatility on end-use applications and regional downstream markets is particularly significant as the industry derives its raw material from the petrochemical industry. Conditions in almost all parts of the world including the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia, North and South America, as well as Africa have an increasing global implication on supply and demand for petrochemicals and raw materials. However, the prospects for the global Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene (SBS) Block Copolymer and its development continue to appear positive. SBS sales are expected to increase as a result of global expansion in the compounding and adhesive applications, as well as due to the enhanced penetration of modified asphalts into roadway and roofing construction.

The polymer industry continued to be under pressure driven by supply and pricing dynamics in early 2011. With the supply of raw materials such as butadiene remaining tight and demand improving, the industry currently faces difficulty in competing against other higher-margin industries for supply. Butadiene prices are expected to increase further in future along with a steady rise in demand, which is expected to further spike the prices for styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS). SBS prices climbed up by 18% in 2010. During the 1st quarter of 2011, prices increased by 5% and are further expected to climb by 5% each quarter for the remaining year. With the price of natural latex rubber reaching new highs in recent years, the industry is witnessing a continuous shift in the tire manufacturing industry, towards styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) and styrene-isoprene-styrene (SIS). This is expected to further drive the demand for butadiene, hence scaling up the prices for SBS.

Asphalt Modification is the largest end-use application area for SBS in terms of volume sales. SBS is an effective asphalt modifier that is utilized in road asphalt modification and modified asphalt waterproof coiled material. SBS finds extensive application in wall bodies of several structures such as bathrooms, toilets, basements, bridges, cold storage chambers, airports, commercial buildings, highways, high-volume interstates, intersections and others. Market for polymer modification holds substantial potential for the SBS market and finds extensive application in vehicle steering wheels/bumpers, sealing parts and electric components. Polymer modification improves the environmental impact of road construction by enabling lesser need for raw materials and creating a safer and more durable road surface.

Asia-Pacific dominates the global sphere as the single largest and fastest growing regional market for SBS both in value and volume terms, as stated by the new market research report on Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene (SBS) Block Copolymer. The fastest growth in demand for styrene is forecast in the Middle East, China, Eastern and Central Europe, and Central and South America. On the basis of the current announcements for capacity expansion, Mexico, Thailand, India together with other Asian countries are expected to remain the net importers while the US, Japan, Canada, Singapore, the Middle East, and the Republic of Korea, are likely to remain net exporters until 2013.

Key players profiled in the report include China National Petroleum Corporation, Dexco Polymers LP, Dynasol Elastomers, Kraton Performance Polymers, LCY Chemical Corp, Polimeri Europa, ShenZhen Yanshan Petrochemical, Sinopec Baling Company Petrochemical Co., among others."




Tags: industrial adhesives

Flame Retardant Additives in Liquid Dispersion

Posted by Howard Neal on Sep 21, 2011 6:10:00 PM

In recent years, intumescent (non-halogenated)flame retardants have slowly began to replace the widely used halogenated products, antimony oxides and deca bromines. This replacement throughout many industries by the “green” technology has been accelerated with the antimony oxides and deca bromines having been declared hazardous and being eliminated from continued use, with timetables established for replacement deadlines.

The properties of our CFR series (liquid form), which can be viewed as the 2nd generation of the intumescent type products, have been shown to be even more cost effective in performance, as they are not generic formulations, but are formulated to fit a specific application.  The product line has formulations with a synergist or as a solo dispersion. 

 The manufacturer we represent has been able to conform the flame retardant additive formulation to the type of polymer being used. In the past, intumescent systems were applied to cover a wide range of polymers with limited results. The use of encapsulations, jet milling the particle size, and use of various synergists, etc. to target the end use for the customer have given these patent pending additives a performance advantage.

 It has been nearly impossible to disperse Ammonium phosphates and melamine salts to maintain dispersion, and unheard of to get various synergists into a one package system as well. Typically, the CFR series is comprised of four components:


1.)    An acid source which forms during the combustion, an impermeable semisolid layer essentially composed of polyphosphoric acid that activates the process of char formation.

2.) Macrostructure to decrease smoke density, improve heat distortion and recycling process, barrier properties and overall performance. 

3.)    A carbonization agent which is dehydrated by the acid released and forms an insulated cellular layer between the polymer and flame.

4.)    A blowing agent which expands to form a swollen multi cellular char by releasing nonflammable gas and form a glass type barrier to further repel the flame source.


The benefits of the above system over halogenated systems are as follows:

            * Low Smoke

            * Non Toxic Fumes

            * Suppresses Afterglow

            * Cost Savings

            * Excellent process ability

* Good retention of mechanical and electrical properties, especially over halogenated systems

* Good color ability

* Greatly improves LOI

When using our dispersions in intumescent paints and varnishes, whether water-based or solvent-based, they can be used on a wide variety of substrates.

Tags: flame retardant, cost savings, intumescent

Flame Retardant Additives which are "Environmentally Preferred"

Posted by Howard Neal on Sep 12, 2011 1:39:00 PM

The long standing use of antimony oxide and deca bromines for achieving flame retardant classification is coming to an end as these products have been found to be hazardous.  There is a timetable in place for replacement of these industry standard halogenated additives in any flame retardant formulations, which in some cases must be accomplished by the end of the year.

We now represent a product line of "Environmentally Preferred" Flame Retardant additives, which are non-halogenic, non-toxic, and have patent pending status. These products are available in powdered or liquid versions and in most case will give a higher rating at a reduced loading, compared to outdated and under-performing intumescents, and soon to be outlawed hazardous products like ATO and Deca Bromines.

These product are divided into three series classifications:

  • CFR™ Series: drop-in emulsions in water, castor oil, polyols or Isocyanate bases.
  • ENF™ Series: powders in three different formulations used as standalones or in conjunction with the SYN™ series.
  • SYN™ Series: powders in different formulations used in conjunction with the ENF™ Series


 Why you should be interested:

In recent years, intumescent flame retardants have been widely used throughout many industries for their “green” technology and because they can easily replace industry standard, halogenated types.

 Our Non Halogen ENF Series™ which can be used in thermoplastic or thermoset formulations, are formulated to fit specific applications whether as a solo replacement or in combination with our synergists.   They are efficient and can be used without loss of critical properties or the fire rating of the product in which they are used.


Typically, our ENF Series™ is composed of three components.

1.)  An acid source forms an impermeable, semisolid layer during the combustion.  The resultant layer is composed of polyphosphoric acid which activates char formation.

2.)  A carbonization agent, which is dehydrated by the acid release, forms an insulated cellular layer between the polymer and flame.

3.)  A blowing agent expands to form a swollen, multicellular char by releasing nonflammable gas.


The benefits of the above system over halogenated systems are as follows:

  • Low Smoke

  • Cost Savings

  • Good Colorability

  • Non Toxic Fumes

  • Suppresses Afterglow

  • Excellent Processability

  • Good retention of mechanical and electrical properties, especially over halogenated systems.

 Please contact us for information on these cost saving non-halogenated, non-toxic flame retardant additives.


Tags: non-halogenated, non-toxic, flame retardants

Escalating Cost in Adhesive Raw Materials

Posted by Howard Neal on Feb 12, 2011 9:58:00 AM

 Increasing costs

Key Points:

  • Natural gas is the primary driver & is up 34% in 2 months
  • Many adhesives market raw materials are derived from natural gas
  • Very disruptive outages across the globe in other raw materials
  • Old plants in N.A. being shut down or causing unplanned outages restrain supply and increase pricing


A number of factors are contributing to an unprecedented escalation in raw materials costs.  ln the past. oil and natural gas prices were largely responsible for the observed fluctuations in raw materials pricing. This is no longer the case as the world's economy now appears to be entering a new paradigm of price pressures - one that relates more strongly to supply and demand rather than directly to energy prices.

Quick Raw Material Review

The waterbase, hot melt, PSA & other adhesives produced by the adhesive manufacturers are in most cases derived from a basic building block of petrochemicals called ethylene.  Ethylene & its by-products are then used to help produce products adhesive manufacturers purchase such as: VAE, VAM, PE, hydrocarbon resins, and various rubber products.

 The petrochemical chain:

Natural gas > ethane > ethylene > adhesive raw materials

 Acids, glycols, butadiene, acrylics, polyols, dextrins, FT & other waxes, aromatics, block copolymers, APAO’s, polyamides, and both natural & synthetic hydrocarbons are all at or near 2 year highs in pricing and moving higher while most finished adhesive prices haven’t kept pace in the same time period.


$$ Currency $$

To complicate matters, the US currency has dropped in value more than 29% on average vs. major currencies in the past 10 years.

This means that our economy is less attractive for importing many adhesive raw materials that would help close the supply/demand gap. While this makes it easier to sell our products overseas, it has a negative impact on prices in the U.S. as the supply of key raw materials become insufficient to keep up with demand

Economic Condition

 GDP growth in the US has rebounded from a -2.6% in 2009 to a +2.8% in 2010.  As general industrial activity in North America has shown signs of recovery in the last 18 months, prices for the most of the petrochemical-based raw materials used in the production of adhesives have increased sharply from lows seen in 2009.

 A primary driver for this increase in North America has been a 34% increase in the price of natural gas and to a lesser extent, and a 21% increase in the price of crude oil from recent lows.

 Added to this is a reduction in available North American adhesive raw material production capacity.  In North America petrochemical producers have idled as much as 30% of available capacity, as many downstream industries have done as well. This is a result of decisions by producers to close or mothball plants during the past 5 years. In 2010, this led to a substantial and in some cases a severe inability of raw material suppliers to ramp back up as the general economy rebounds from the 2009 lows, which has continued into 2011.

Tags: industrial adhesives

Box Manufacturing: Choosing the Right Adhesive

Posted by Howard Neal on Dec 17, 2010 9:01:00 PM

corrugated boxes

Increasingly, paper mills are using more recycled paper in their paper making operation. This introduces contaminates such as coatings, adhesives, and inks that make bonding and water absorption more difficult for the paper rolls produced. 

 These paper rolls used in corrugated box manufacturing make the gluing process more difficult due to shorter paper fibers, the desire for greater board strength, and the need for a print surface that enhances print quality.  Based on these factors, the most common type of adhesive used in the box making operation today is a resin emulsion.

Resin emulsions or "white glues" are petroleum-based products that replaced dextrins in most glue lap operations because of the factors above and a faster speed of set.  Although resin emulsions are slower setting than hot melt adhesives, the polymer advances in technology have allowed a greater range of bonding at a lower cost per pound. In addition equipment cost is lower and maintenance is less troublesome and less costly than hot melt.

The most common resin emulsions used on kraft paperboard, chipboard, and mottel white surfaces are based on poly vinyl acetate polymers.  The poly vinyl acetate based adhesives exhibit good machining and easy cleanup.  These adhesives can range in viscosity (thickness) from thin for spray applications, heavier for extrusion, and heavier yet for roller or wheel applications

They can also be adjusted in solids level to provide a very quick speed of set in a straight line operation or slightly slower set speed for a right angle, shingle stack compression, or hand applications.  Specialty chemicals can be added for greater wet tack or enhanced penetration into tight board.

When special formulations are needed to bond more difficult surfaces, Adhesives formulated from vinyl acetate ethylene co-polymers are typically utilized. These adhesives bond well yet are more difficult to clean because they are more water resistant.

Once a bond is formed with a resin emulsion, it is stable over a very wide temperature range, going from sub-freezing to the destruction point of the paper.  This is another reason for their use over hot melt.

In order to make an excellent bond that yields full fiber tear, testing of an adhesive on the corrugated box in a test environment is recommended.  This is accomplished by applying a small amount of adhesive to one surface and compressing the two surfaces together for 30 to 60 seconds.  If a bond can be formed the starting point is confirmed for the resin emulsion adhesive needed.  Then it is a matter of determining the set speed and viscosity required for that particular operation.

The basic premise for the formation of a fiber tearing bond is the liquid adhesive comes in contact with both surfaces and is held together as the water is absorbed leaving the solids portion of the adhesive.  It should be noted, if the bond is made, then broken even though the adhesive has yet to dry, the bond is lost and typically cannot be regained.

The adhesive speed of set is controlled not only by its formulation, but also by the amount of adhesive applied and the compression setting.  The amount of pressure needed to make a proper bond is critical.  The two surfaces have to be snug, but not to the point that liquid adhesive is squeezed out of the glue joint.

The plant environment, its ambient temperature and humidity, will affect the paperboard, and in turn the absorption of the water into the paper, which will impact the speed of set of the adhesive.  The higher the solids portion of the adhesive means less water to absorb, resulting in a quicker speed of set.

If your plant is located in the states of Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, or Wisconsin, we would welcome the opportunity to analyze your operation and show the most cost effective selection of adhesive based on substrates, machinery, and environment.

We can be reached at 847-509-7566.

Tags: adhesion, box plants

Industrial Adhesive Basics

Posted by Howard Neal on Dec 2, 2010 5:37:00 PM


In meetings with plant and maintenance personnel, I am often asked about the different types of adhesives.  Here is an overview on industrial adhesives that could be helpful to those of you who may have questions regarding adhesives.


Dextrin adhesives are starch-based products, usually derived from industrial grade corn starch.  They are economical in price, and do well in bonding paper stock.  These adhesives typically machine cleanly, and are easy to clean up, normally with warm water.

The major drawback for their use in most packaging sealing operations is their slow set speed.  Generally over twenty seconds compression time is needed to form a good bond, which is not suited for high speed operations.

These adhesives are used typically used in paper converting operations, with point-of-purchase production being a common use.  We have a unique line of products for this purpose.


These adhesives, commonly called "white glues" are petroleum-based products that replaced dextrins where increased speeds in case and carton sealing operations were required. The most common resin emulsions are based on polyvinyl acetate polymers, which exhibit clean machining and clean up with warm water since they are water soluble.  They are commonly used for the glue joint in corrugated box production.

When special formulations are needed to bond less porous surfaces such as SBS/SUS carton stock or corrugated boxes with coatings, Vinyl Acetate Ethylene(VAE) polymers are used.  The result is an adhesive that bonds well, but is more difficult to clean.  Hot water is needed to clean these products off the equipment as these polymers are water resistant.

For non-porous surfaces, VAE polymers with certain adhesion promoters or Acrylic-based polymers are utilized to bond these surfaces.  

With any of the resin emulsions, once the bond is formed, these products are stable over a very wide temperature range.


HOT MELTShot melt adhesive

Hot melts are also petroleum-based products that are 100% solid at room temperature and become liquid when placed in hot melt applicators at raised temperatures for application to the substrate.  Depending on the product and use, the application temperature can range from 225-425 degrees F.

For a high speed packaging operation, hot melts are used for carton seal or case seal due to a speed of set of as little as 1-2 seconds to form a bond. There are hot melts specifically designed to be used for these applications where the packaged product will be a freezer-grade application.

The base polymer of hot melts can be Ethylene Vinyl Acetate(EVA), polyethylene, or metallocene, with the majority of products being EVA-based when it comes to packaging or paper converting applications.

A fourth polymer type, Polyamide-based hot melts, are used where special needs arise, such as very high temperature applications or high strength needs.  Polyamide hot melts also show better resistance to oils and solvents.

One other category is APAO-based polymer hot melts, which are used where long open time and good tack are needed.  A typical application for these hot melts would be in mattress production.

Pressure Sensitive Hot Melts

A special class of hot melts are the ones that remain tacky even after they are cooled to room temperature.  These hot melts are compounded from synthetic rubber-based polymers and can be strong with a permanent bond, or removable such as those used for name tags.

If your facility is in the states of Illnois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, or Iowa, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss ways to optimize your adhesive usage or hold a seminar on Industrial Adhesives 101 for designated plant personnel.


Tags: packaging operation, 100% solid, industrial adhesive

Save energy dollars with Eneseal HR

Posted by Howard Neal on Aug 23, 2010 9:20:00 PM

Facility managers, who are looking for ways to reduce operating cost, can look to our ENESEAL HR for your roof and cooling towers(chillers), or other "Cool Roof"surfaces to yield measurable energy savings.  The ENESEAL HR is not a paint but a single component, water based, liquid ceramic-filled membrane.  It dries to a more durable than paint, seamless, flexible "skin", that refracts and reflects heat 10 - 30 degrees better than paint and higher for roofs without a heat refractive surface, while providing a moisture resistant barrier. 

For the roof, the result is a "cool roof" and a durability that extends the time between repairs.  It is also a great finish for cooling tower repairs, saving huge dollars versus replacement.  In addition, there is a noticeable drop in the internal temperature of the tower by 10 - 30 degrees compared to paint, thus reducing energy consumption in hot weather and extending the useful life. 

For roof repair, using our SUPERBOND and ENESEAL HR to repair holes and open seams in the roof and provide a moisture resistant barrier that can cut the cost of conventional roof replacement by over two-thirds.  On a recent project, the conventional replacement cost was projected over $2,000,000.  Using the SUPERBOND, plus ENESEAL HR, and reinforcement cloth reduced the cost to just over $400,000.

For cooling tower repairs, the use of our CERAMALLOY to repair corroded areas plus 2 coats of ENESEAL HR ,gives aged cooling towers a "brand new appearance".  In addition, greater energy efficency is realized with the heat refraction that the ENESEAL HR provides.

The ENESEAL HR can be used on all types of insulation, plastics, concrete, brick, block, slate, tiles, wood, metal, etc.  It is easily applied by brush, roller, or spray.  Because it's water based, cleanup is quick and easy with soap and water and remember it is completely non-toxic, non-flammable, and VOC-free.

In Southern California, give us a call at 310-592-0208 for a no cost estimate on your next project.

Tags: Energy Efficiency, Roofing Materials

Improve Packaging Productivity

Posted by Howard Neal on Jul 11, 2010 4:48:00 PM

Industrial AdhesivesPE hot meltMetallocene hot melts have improved productivity for packaging production operations which use hot melt adhesive , especially where odor and charring were problems.  But their cost continues to rise and raw material supplies continue to be strained because of capacity limitations, which has given rise to plant managers looking for cost effective alternatives in EVA and Polyethylene based hot melts.  STRYTECH can now provide a hot melt based on improved Polyethylene(PE) technology that meets these needs of packaging operations and is cost effective.


This hot melt PE system is ideal for case and carton seal packaging operations where a minimum of 2 seconds open time and 3-4 seconds compression time can be measured.  This PE hot melt is designed to address the needs of packaging operations of all sizes looking for ways to decrease downtime, reduce maintenance cost from char build-up, and minimize complaints of odor.  This is  especially important where there is a need to expand in the future, and improved productivity takes on greater importance.

We have a new customer who has switched from a competitor to us based on a successful test using the PE hot melt. Their comments are as follows:

  • low odor 
  • no evidence of charring meaning reduced maintenance
  • excellent bonds 
  • excellent for auto-feed systems because of the pellet form
  • reduction in the budgeted hot melt spend of 10% 

Tags: hot melt, improved productivity, packaging

Maintenance of Hot Melt Glue Units

Posted by Howard Neal on Jul 6, 2010 9:39:00 PM

Industrial Adhesives   I am asked by Maintenance departments responsible for maintaining the hot melt glue system on what procedure do I recommend for cleaning the build up of hot melt char. The following are my thoughts on the subject with the key being for optimum performance of the hot melt units, cleaning should be performed on a routine basis.

1) Supply hoses to the applicator heads should be disconnected and the old molten adhesive pumped out into a container that will not melt from the heat.  Set the tank temperature at 250F degrees.

2) Turn off the tank pressure, disconnect supply hoses and cover ports.  The supply hose ends should be placed in a heat resistant container

3) Fill the melt tank with either a solid (paraffin wax) or liquid (mineral oil) which will be the cleaner.  Maintain pot temperature below the flash point of the solid or liquid being used

4) Allow the solid or liquid to cook for 2 to 3 hours.

5) After the 2 to 3 hour time frame, drain cleaner into heat resistant container and wipe the sides, bottom, and strainer screen with lint-free cloth. REMEMBER: wear thermal protective gloves to prevent burns.

6) Replace output filter, reconnect supply hoses to the tank, and fill the tank with fresh hot melt adhesive.

7) Heat the hot melt adhesive to 250F degrees, and when fully melted pump the adhesive through each supply hose into a heat resistant container until the adhesive is clear of any char.

8) Replace any worn supply hoses and reconnect hoses  to cleaned or new applicator heads. Also replace line filter where necessary.

9) Set the tank, hoses, and applicator heads to the recommended application temperature of the hot melt adhesive, fill the hot melt tank with adhesive, and allow the hot melt adhesive to completely melt before using.

NOTE: Always consult the equipment manual for specific instructions as it relates to equipment cleaning and maintenance of hot melt gluing systems. 


 hot melt glue applicator

Tags: maintenance, hot melt applicator, tank, supply hoses, applicator heads

Concrete repair polymer composite

Posted by Howard Neal on Jun 14, 2010 5:25:00 PM


concrete repair with polymer composite

Maintenance Polymer Systems  As Repair season shifts into high gear the traditional way of repairing concrete problems is to replace areas badly damaged such as, curbs crumbling from weather exposure, flooring areas corroded by chemical attack, steps damaged by water penetration and frost heaving, or high traffic areas of flooring that have succumbed to the impact of constant weight among many problem areas.

Use of our unique, VOC-free polymer systems make concrete replacement no longer necessary.  The product for concrete repair, DuraQuartz, is a three-component polymer system, 100% solids, compound specifically formulated and precisely engineered to provide solutions to even the most difficult concrete repair and protection problems.  It is unrivaled in its extraordinary adhesion.

This product is applied and feathered over the existing damaged structure or flooring and can be mixed to any consistency-from viscous liquid to stiff mortar.  It is VOC-free and has little or no odor, so environmentally friendly.  In addition, there is minimum noise level because jack hammers or pay loaders are not being used.

The results are the finest concrete repair and protection system available for one-half to two-thirds LESS the cost of typical concrete repair projects.  In addition the surface now has a compressive strength of 15,000 psi, 3-4 times greater than concrete itself.  Because the product is 100% solids there is no shrinking, eliminating water penetration

DuraQuartz is not only for concrete but will also bond to marble, stone, slate, terrazzo, tiles, and even metal.


Tags: VOC-free, concrete resurfacing, concrete repair