Five top tips for choosing the right adhesives in sofa manufacturing

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For most of us, a new sofa represents a high value purchase that we’ll expect to last for a good few years, if not decades – so sofa manufacturers must rise to the challenge of combining good looks with durability and – of course – value for money. And adhesive choice has a big role to play in achieving this.

Choosing the right adhesives can help streamline sofa production and deliver products with greater customer appeal, enhancing competitive advantage and generating financial benefits that go straight to the bottom line. To help you gain these valuable benefits Chemique Adhesives, a leading developer and supplier of adhesives and application equipment to the furniture sector, offers five top tips.

1. Use one or two-component soft bond line adhesives for foam

sofa manufacturing adhesivesMost sofa cushions are made of foam and the best option for bonding foam components is to use one or two-component soft bond line adhesives. These guarantee instant bonding and have the added bonus of short drying time because only a small amount of adhesive is needed – a low coat weight is sprayed onto the contact surfaces. Soft bond line adhesives mean that the characteristic feel and resilience of the foam will be maintained, helping to make the sofa comfortable and appealing to buyers.

2. Choose PVA adhesives for frame assembly

High quality PVA adhesive is ideal for frame assembly. PVA adhesive is cost effective and has minimal environmental impact, but it provides a strong and reliable bond. Make sure you use a suitable applicator to minimise wastage and, if the application permits it, you can cut wastage even further by using a pigmented version of the adhesive so that you can see exactly where it’s been applied. If pigmented adhesive isn’t suitable, a formulation that includes a UV tracer will be invisible when it’s dried but will still let you carry out quality control checks easily with a simple inexpensive UV light source.

3. For bonding fabric to foam, water-based is the way to go

Water-based adhesives are perfect for bonding fabric to foam, because only small quantities are needed to establish a firm bond. They offer quick drying times and effective bonds. If they are correctly chosen, these adhesives have the very important benefit of not bleeding through to the face of the fabric, so they fully preserve the attractive appearance of the sofa. In addition, because they don’t have any organic solvents in their formulation, they are easy and safe to handle, and they have very low environmental impact.

4. For bonding foam to frames, think hotmelt!

Hotmelt adhesives are an excellent choice for bonding foam to frames. An important advantage of hot melts compared with using staples is that they eliminate the dimpling effect staples create, so they give a fuller, more comfortable looking sofa with enhanced customer appeal. Hotmelt adhesives bond instantly, so they help to maximise productivity. This method also has the huge benefit of eliminating unnecessary metal staples from soft furniture.

5. Hotmelt adhesives are also good for packaging

Hotmelt adhesives are ideal for use on corrugated cardboard boxes that are used to pack finished sofas ready for despatch. They’re much more convenient and easier to work with than the unsightly sticky tape that’s normally used in this application, and the finished packages look much neater and more professional. Hot melt adhesive is as quick to use as tape – if not quicker – and is more secure.

As we have seen, there is a multitude of adhesives suitable for each stage of the furniture manufacturing process, and even packaging. Choosing the right adhesives can make a big difference to productivity and profitability for sofa manufacturers. Safety and environmental concerns should also be considered, keeping in mind that the best suppliers will offer a full range of non-toxic, VOC-free and water-based adhesives.

Hopefully these five top tips will provide a good starting point, but the best way to optimise your sofa manufacturing processes is to work with an expert adhesives partner that can provide advice not just on the adhesives themselves but on every aspect of adhesive selection, storage and application. Chemique Adhesives has decades of experience in the manufacture of adhesives and sealants and can provide a total service package: technical advice, adhesive solutions, application equipment as well as training and maintenance services. So, do not hesitate and contact us today to form a bond with the most reliable adhesive specialist!

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