Frequently Asked Questions

Beardow Adams supports customers to successfully and sustainably bond products across the globe. Check out some of the frequently asked questions about Beardow Adams, hot-melt adhesives, troubleshooting, and sustainability. If we don’t have the answer below – we’ll find out, and get back to you.

Customer Service

Who are Beardow Adams?

Simply put, we supply adhesives to over 20,000 customers worldwide. Our adhesives technologies help to bond and assemble packaging, labels, furniture, hygiene and non-woven materials, as well as countless other products, across a diverse range of industries.

Beardow Adams has continued to grow since our beginnings in 1977, focusing on providing customers with high-performance, trouble-free, and sustainable bonding solutions. As of 2023, Beardow Adams is now a part of the H.B. Fuller group.

Where is Beardow Adams located?

Our head office is in Milton Keynes (UK), and we have manufacturing sites in Charlotte, North Carolina (USA), two sites in Frankfurt (Germany), and one in Landskrona (Sweden).

What adhesives do you manufacture?

We specialise in hot-melt adhesives (often called “hot glues”) and water-based adhesives, but also manufacture dextrin and starch adhesives, solvent-based adhesives, and dispersion adhesives.

Can you recommend an adhesive?

Absolutely. Our technical teams are on hand to provide recommendations, analyse substrates, and support onsite trials.

How can I buy your adhesives?

Our extensive network of Global Partners, in addition to our Beardow Adams sales offices, is on hand to supply our adhesives across the globe, providing local support and logistics.

How do I request a TDS or SDS?

Send an email to:, and we’ll handle your request.

Hot-Melt Adhesives

What is a hot-melt adhesive?

Hot melt adhesives are 100% solid formulations based on thermoplastic materials containing no solvents or water. Sold in a solid state, they become liquid once heated past their softening point. Read more

What is hot melt glue made of?

Hot glues typically consist of five main ingredients: polymers, plasticisers, resins, waxes/oils, and antioxidants. All of which have an important role to play but must be fully compatible with one another for the glue to work as intended. Read more

How do hot melt glues work?

Hot melts must be heated to their application temperature to liquefy. They are then applied to the substrate, wetting it out and filling small crevices on its surfaces. The second substrate must be brought into contact with the first during the adhesive’s open time when it is still hot enough to provide sufficient wet out. Compression at this stage is important, helping to bond both surfaces together. Read more

What are the uses of hot melts?

Hot-melt adhesives play an important role in countless industries and applications, from sealing cartons to labelling containers, assembling diapers to gluing edge banding to furniture, and much more. Read more

What are the advantages of hot melts?

Unlike solvent- or water-based materials, hot melts are 100% solid formulations and inert, making them exceptionally easy to handle, store and transport. Ideally suited to automated and high-volume production, their specially engineered polymer base means they can be easily formulated for different industries and applications. Read more

What are the disadvantages of hot melts?

Hot melts can have limited heat and chemical resistance and can struggle to bond to very smooth surfaces such as metal, vinyl, and silicone. However, many hot melts have been formulated to overcome these potential weaknesses.


Are hot-melt adhesives sustainable?

Hot melts can be formulated to include sustainably sourced, bio-based raw materials and can be customised for environmentally friendly applications, such as alkali washable labelling and pallet stabilisation. They can even be vegan-friendly adhesives. In addition, they also offer excellent resource efficiency due to their trouble-free, clean running, which reduces material waste and maximises production uptime.

Is hot-melt glue biodegradable?

Biodegradable adhesives break down naturally over time with the help of microorganisms such as bacteria, turning the glue into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass. This helps prevent microplastics from entering the environment. Although, their availability is currently limited, more biodegradable hot melts are likely to enter the market in the near future.

Are bio-based hot-melt adhesives available?

Yes, adhesives can be formulated using a high percentage of raw materials from plants and other forestry materials, most often plant resins or rubbers, to help businesses bond sustainably and reduce their carbon footprint.

Is hot glue recyclable?

Most hot melts are not readily recyclable. However, it is important to remember that the percentage of adhesive used is often minimal in comparison with the overall construction. As such, the direct impact on the recycling or re-processing of materials is minimal if at all noticeable.

Furthermore, specialist hot melts, such as alkali washable adhesives for labelling, have been developed to support the growing introduction of bottle return schemes, allowing PET containers to be reused and recycled – demonstrating that adhesive technology can be used to achieve sustainability objectives.


What adhesive is used in food packaging?

Stringent regulations are in place to ensure that adhesives used in food packaging do not pose a risk to the safety, nature, or quality of the food. Modern metallocene hot melts often adhere to these standards, as they are transparent, water-white, and do not give off odours or contaminate food or packaging. Additionally, certain hot melts are produced in BRCGS-approved facilities, which makes them appropriate for use in the food and beverage sector.


What is the process temperature for hot melt glue?

Hot melt glue works by heating it to an application temperature, typically between 120°C (248°F) to 180°C (356°F), that allows it to liquefy and "wet out" substrates. Maintaining the correct application temperature is incredibly important since not doing so could lead to bond failure at a later stage.

What equipment is used in the hot melt application process?

Adhesive is initially loaded into a hot melt tank, with the hot melt conveyed via a hose to the applicator. Melted adhesive can then be sprayed, extruded, rolled, or coated onto the substrate, depending on the application requirements.

How to prevent hot-melt adhesive stringing?

Stinging (or adhesive webbing) can be a common yet easily solvable issue in hot melt applications. Often, simply increasing the application temperature, eliminating factory draughts, or moving the applicator nozzle close to the substrate will resolve the issue. If these solutions don’t work, asking a hot melt manufacturer for an adhesive that is more suited to the method of application should help resolve the problem.

How to avoid hot-melt adhesive charring?

To avoid charring and the problems it can lead to, such as filters and nozzles becoming clogged, adhesive beads becoming uneven, and increased maintenance costs, application temperatures should be lowered, heating the adhesive for too long should be avoided, and the hot melt tank should be checked for contamination.

What causes bond failure after the initial bond is formed?

Avoiding bond failure involves preventing chilling of the adhesive. This can be done by maintaining the right application temperature, ensuring open time to long enough, and there is sufficient adhesive applied. Also, ensuring substrate and ambient temperatures are not too cold. In addition, a change of substrates, the movement of pack contents (in the case of packaging), poor compression, and the use of an unsuitable adhesive could all be reasons for bond failure.

Why do packaging cartons spring open when box has left the machine?

To avoid packaging cartons springing open when the box has left the machine, check the temperature of the adhesive, substrate, and the ambient environment, to ensure they are neither too high nor low, which can result in adhesives that does not set in time. Poor compression or poor bead placement can also reduce bond strength. Lastly, if adhesion problems persist, change the hot melt grade to a more suitable one for the application.

Why is there a lack of hot melt at the applicator head?

Getting the right amount of adhesive at the applicator head is crucial. If problems occur, check the melting capacity of the machine to ensure it’s sufficient. Also, examine the melt temperature, the glue tank level, voltage to the applicator head, and whether the melt tank or feed system are blocked.

How to prevent excess fuming and odour from the hot melt tank?

If you experience excess fuming or odour from the melt tank, lower the tank temperature, check the settings match those in the adhesive’s datasheet, measure the temperature through a second method, such as temperature probe or IR thermostat (in case the machine thermostat is faulty). Finally, empty and clean the tank using the appropriate cleaner, to remove any charred adhesive.

What cleaners should be used with hot melts?

Our BAMClean range of cleaners remove the build-up of adhesives, loosen any charring in the applicator tanks and hoses, and is suited to light-duty (BAMClean 1), medium-duty (BAMClean 2), and heavy-duty (BAMClean 3) cleaning and adhesive changeovers. In addition, BAMSolve is a natural-solvent-based cleaning fluid used to clean nozzles, filters, and gun modules.

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