In this article, we discuss PUR Micro Emissions adhesives with Steve Morrow, Technical Sales & UK Sales Manager at Kenyon Group, one of the country’s foremost adhesives suppliers.
Having spent more than 40 years supplying adhesives and solving adhesive problems in many markets from packaging and automotive to woodworking and building components, the Kenyon team and myself are always considering new ways of how we can improve the customer’s experience with Henkel products.
Micro Emission technologies play a key role when it comes to improving the safety for operators, creating a safer environment at work, and also protecting the planet.
Over the years, I had a chance to witness how the furniture, woodworking and building components markets have made significant progress in reducing the risk from isocyanates. Conventional PUR-Hotmelt adhesives once contained 2-5% of monomeric Methylene diphenyl diisocyanates (MDI), which led to them being classified as carcinogenic. Over the years, the residual monomeric MDI has been continuously reduced, resulting in much safer products.
The legislation according to REACH regarding the handling of diisocyanates will change on 24th August 2023.
The industry benchmark for these ‘low-emission’ polyurethanes was previously 1% isocyanate content (or to be more precise, ‘low monomer MDI’). ‘Low emission’ may sound appealing, but the risk is still there, and there are associated regulatory requirements, such as specific labelling, training, and infrastructure.
But the good news is that innovations and improving technologies mean we can push the boundaries even further without compromising product performance. We are now able to reduce the isocyanate concentration to below 0.1% which is an outstanding team effort.
It is time to act now and change to Technomelt Micro Emissions (ME) PUR adhesives.
That said, it truly acts as a threshold for what’s known as a Micro Emission (ME) product. At this level, the product is recognised as safe – meaning no hazardous labelling and no mandatory training for operators.
Therefore, this ME technology has taken off since its introduction, and the term has become the standard across the market with manufacturers in the UK and across Europe.
What are the benefits of ME adhesive products?
We at Kenyon’s focus on the operator’s health. With this product group, the emission of isocyanate is reduced to a level that makes it indistinguishable in the air. This means operators do not need to worry about sensitisation, and manufacturers do not need to go through expensive compliance projects and training or install new exhaust systems. Remember, ME PUR adhesives have no warning labels, it’s time to change!
Simply put, ME products function in the same way as traditional PUR products. Customers do not need to worry about loss of performance. In fact, in some cases, the ME product will be more stable than conventional PUR technology, or it will have fewer cleaning requirements whether you are edgebanding, flat laminating or profile wrapping, PUR ME is the future.
How can manufacturers switch to ME technologies successfully?
Our customers often ask me if switching from traditional PUR to ME is difficult. It’s not. Processes and equipment will not need to be changed, since the chemistry is the same: a reactive system. Enjoy all the benefits associated with PUR adhesives low coat weight, tight joints, invisible glue lines, exceptional high performance combined with excellent heat and water resistance but without the hazardous labelling, making it more environmentally friendly and safer for operators to handle.
Nobody likes warning labels and the fact that we can now eliminate this has huge benefits …
As with any transition, I highly advise working with an experienced partner like Kenyon’s to manage all kinds of situations. At Kenyon’s, we pride ourselves on having long-term experience with ME technologies, as we have been working with these products since they were first brought to market. We can offer technical service and support analysis with tailored training materials. In addition to that, there’s an entire department within Henkel dedicated purely to dealing with regulatory issues and making sure to support our customers in their transitions to call upon for further advice.
It looks like Kenyon’s are the complete adhesive package … We say that our safety journey has no expiration date. What I love about working as Henkel Premium Partner the most is that we are always striving to improve the safety and prosperity of our customers and our end consumers.
To arrange a site visit to discuss changing to Henkel Technomelt PUR Micro Emission Adhesives call Steve on 07960 047020 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org