Hot Melt Stick Glue Guns – Pros and Cons for Industrial Assembly & Packaging

Hot Melt Stick glue guns are very important to industry for assembly and packaging. These hot melt application tools allow manufacturers to manually apply hot melt adhesives from lightweight, low cost applicators using easily handled sticks of glue. These guns can be purchased at your local craft stores, home centers, on-line or from industrial suppliers of the guns and adhesives.

Hot Melt Stick glue guns offer very different performance characteristics and should be evaluated closely to fit the application. The key difference between hot melt stick guns are their melt rate capacity. As we all know from experience, simply depressing the trigger on a hot melt stick gun does not always insure consistent hot melt beads are extruded from the nozzle.

Hot Melt Stick glue guns quickly and efficiently melt adhesive in the tip where a high temperature heated cone is located. High temperature and the downward pressure of the adhesive stick against this heated cone creates the flow required from the nozzle. Too much trigger pressure relative to the melt rate capabilities can force adhesive past the stick and back into the stick chamber. This usually results in a very sluggish gun trigger, leakage from the nozzle and in many cases ruined hot melt stick glue gun.

Also, the stick or slug adhesive used must be the correct size and offer exact expansion coefficient relative to the gun. The hot melt in stick form actually expands before melting and forms a seal that keeps the hot melt from migrating back into the stick feed chamber.

Typical hot melts available in stick form are limited to EVA’s ( standard hot melts), polyamides ( high temperature hot melts) and some APAO ( polyolefins). Most of these products have limited “Open Times” or working time and require fast lamination of the two substrates.

While Hot Melt Stick glue guns will always have their place in the manufacturing and packaging processes new economical alternative bulk hot melt guns and bench-mounted bulk systems are available to melt and apply a much wider range of low cost hot melts at much faster rates. Hot melt bulk glue guns with reservoirs in the applicator offer good melt rate and high output rates of these adhesives. Where possible, bench mounted systems are being used to apply adhesive to substrate with the actuation of a foot switch so that the operator does not need to handle a hot melt stick glue gun.


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