Solventless Adhesive Systems

EPA Contract Number: 68D99051
Title: Solventless Adhesive Systems
Investigators: Gumbs, Ronald W.
Small Business: Gumbs Associates Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 1999 through March 1, 2000
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Pollution Prevention , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


Adhesives, caulks, and sealants contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Although there is an urgent need to reduce the volume of solvents in each formulation, complete elimination is preferred. This proposal seeks to replace VOCs with nonvolatile monomers that serve as diluents and vehicles in these formulations. The proposed project aims to replace VOCs and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) in adhesives, caulks, and sealants used in building construction and automotive body assembly operations. These 100 percent solids systems will be formulated and evaluated to demonstrate feasibility of the concept. The key technical objectives are to screen a large number of commercially available monomers, formulate monomer/polymer mixtures in two-component adhesives, evaluate the adhesives versus solvent-based commercial products, and optimize the experimental adhesives to meet specifications for selected applications where solvent-borne adhesives are employed. Viscosity, working-time, bond strength, and cost are critical parameters.

It is anticipated that the 100 percent solids adhesives resulting from the proposed work will be cost-competitive with solvent-based adhesives because they: (1) will exhibit less shrinkage than those containing water or solvent; (2) will possess better thermal and flow resistance than hot melts; (3) may be used on heat-sensitive substrates; (4) will be cost-effective due to lower costs of energy, pollution control, and processing; and (5) will not contain any VOCs or HAPs.

Primary commercial applications are adhesives, caulks, and sealants used in building construction and automotive body assembly operations. Potential markets are the same as those presently captured by solvent-based products. The entire market for adhesives is large and diverse. In 1996, 12.31 billion pounds of adhesives were sold in the United States, and 40 percent of this volume was in building construction. Other potential applications are solventless paints, coatings, and inks.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, pollution prevention, engineering, chemistry, EPA., Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Scientific Discipline, Air, Toxics, Sustainable Industry/Business, air toxics, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Chemistry, HAPS, VOCs, Technology for Sustainable Environment, New/Innovative technologies, Engineering, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Market mechanisms, Economics & Decision Making, polymeric coating, hazardous air pollutants, hazardous emissions, alternative materials, polymers, polymer conformation, solvent substitute, hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), coating formulations, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), cost effective, pollution prevention, adhesives, coatings, polymer design, solvents, cost effectiveness

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report