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Exposed: The Truth about Nonflammable Adhesives and How to Verify a Compliant Product

10. May 2018 13:06

Increased Health, Safety, and Environmental restrictions by OSHA, Fire Marshals, insurance companies, and other regulatory commissions, especially concerning products used in areas such as healthcare and education environments, has led to a vital need for nonflammable canister adhesives to be used in millwork projects.

Although there are a variety of nonflammable canister contact adhesives on the market; there’s more to the “nonflammable” label than first meets the eye. In fact, there are two key requirements for a product to be considered a nonflammable canister adhesive; it must contain a nonflammable, solvent-based adhesive and a nonflammable propellant. Combined, the nonflammable adhesive and nonflammable propellant creates a canister adhesive that will not burn or catch fire.

Solvent-based Adhesives: The current technology for nonflammable, solvent-based adhesives center on Methylene Chloride (commonly disguised as Dichloroethane) and n-Propyl Bromide (nPB). While these solvents are common in the adhesive industry, they have recently come under heavy scrutiny. The ugly truth is that OSHA considers both Methylene Chloride and nPB to be a potential occupational carcinogen and have extremely low permissible exposure limits. Both chemicals have been listed to be potentially banded by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Propellants: Some nonflammable canisters are being misrepresented as completely nonflammable despite containing a flammable propellant like butane or propane. The easiest way to determine if a product contains a flammable propellant is to examine the DOT label required on all canister adhesives. If the bright red, “UN3501 Chemical under pressure, flammable n.o.s” label is present, this IS NOT a completely nonflammable product. The flammable propellant will catch fire if exposed to an open flame. If a green, “UN3500 Chemical under pressure, non-flammable gas” label is present, this is a completely nonflammable canister adhesive.

After many years of development, Wilsonart Engineered Surfaces has launched a U.S. patent-pending formula for a Nonflammable Canister Adhesive that no other company currently offers. This new, revolutionary canister contact adhesive is a true nonflammable product. Unlike its counterparts, the Wilsonart Nonflammable Series – NF 702/703 and NF 742/743 – is entirely nonflammable and does not contain Methylene Chloride or nPB.

Interested in learning more about the benefits of Nonflammable Canister Adhesives and what to look for when purchasing a verified product? Join us at the “Techniques and Time-Savers for Engineered Surfacing Products” on Tuesday, August 21st.


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