A Technical Guide to using Hot Melts

Techsil have been specialists in the hot melt market since 2007; offering Customers technical advice, guidance and support. Below we have put together a few of the most frequently asked questions to offer some online help. If you have a question which isn't answered below, please feel free to pick up the phone to speak with one of our technical advisors directly.

How do I ensure I get the Best Performance from my Hot Melt Glue Gun?

  • ALWAYS allow the gun to warm up to operating temperature and do not apply force to the trigger before it is ready. Most guns are ready in 5-7 minutes, spray guns need at least 10 minutes. A new gun should be loaded with glue BEFORE switch-on and the glue gradually pushed through the gun, using light pressure on the trigger, as it heats. This expresses air from the chamber and avoids cold glue melting immediately on contact with the heater housing.
  • ALWAYS use the gun stand supplied, an optional stand or suspension hook if available because the gun heater housing contains molten glue. The gun should NEVER be laid on its side as this could cause the glue to “puddle” and cause melt back into the cooler part of the gun. If this happens, the gun could suffer internal damage.
  • ALWAYS unplug the gun if it is not going to be used for 40 minutes or more. To cool the gun more quickly and aid easier start-up the next time it is used, disconnect from the power supply when work is complete and while the gun is cooling use the trigger to extrude about half a cartridge / stick of molten glue through it.
  • ALWAYS wipe any excess molten glue from around the nozzle at the end of each work session with a cloth as this will prevent build up of glue deposits which can char. This should be done while the gun is still hot. Always wear protective gloves.
  • NEVER withdraw a part melted glue cartridge / stick from the back of the gun.
  • NEVER remove the nozzle from a cold gun as thread damage could result. Warm the gun first and always wear protective gloves. Most integral gun stands incorporate a nozzle remover.

What’s the difference between a Hot Melt and a Low Melt Glue Gun?

The biggest difference between hot melt and low melt glue guns is the temperature in which they melt the glue. Hot melt guns generally run at 195°C, whereas low melt guns run at 130°C. There are exceptions to the rule as some guns (for example tec 820™ 12 & tec™ 820 15) have adjustable temperatures.

Low Melt Glue Guns

Low melt glue guns are generally considered to be safer to use than hot melt glue guns, for the obvious reasons. They carry a reduced risk of burns and can be used for bonding materials which are sensitive to heat. Low melt glue guns are a very popular choice for arts and craft applications, within the florist industry and in schools. In regards to low melt glue, although there is a small selection available the downside is that there is restrictions with how far the formulations can go.

Hot Melt Glue Guns

If you choose to go with a hot melt glue gun, the range of hot melt glues available is much wider than with a low melt tool. Hot melt glues will easily cover general purpose bonding to more challenging substrates such as polypropylene, plastics, ABS, acrylics and even metals.

How much Hot Melt Adhesive will I need?

The amount of hotmelt adhesive you will need depends on how you would like to apply the hotmelt, for example either a bead or a dot and also how thick or thin the bead of dot is.

Use this hot melt dot & bead chart to help work out your overall usage based on either size of dots or length of beads.

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