4 considerations when specifying adhesives

by Ofentse Sefolo
4 considerations when specifying adhesives

The installation of resilient flooring calls for an evaluation of all the factors that may or will play a role during the lifetime of the floor covering. iTe Products broadly categorises four types of considerations that need to be made to identify the right flooring adhesive for a project.

1. Substrate Considerations Building and manufacturer regulations
SANS100780:2012 for vinyl and resilient flooring and SANS 10186 for carpeting are the two SANS codes of practice that determine the minimum requirements for substrates for different types of flooring. Generally, flooring manufacturers stipulate that the subfloor must be sound, smooth, dry and uncontaminated. Associated with these simple words are numerous potential pitfalls.

2. Manufacturer regulations
The most common application relates to cementitious substrates, which affect the type of adhesive that is chosen for the specific floorcovering. We then look to the floorcovering and its requirements relating to the installation, final appearance and its longevity. These include the hardness of the glue line to prevent dimensional change, the type of plasticisers used in the adhesive to make sure they are compatible with the flooring’s plasticisers, the trowel notch size to ensure adequate bonding without trowel marks becoming visible, the flooring’s sensitivity to solvents, the type of emulsion to ensure compatibility with the adhesive and then in high specification flooring, the compliance of the particular makeup of the adhesive.

3. Environmental considerations
Environmental issues are then evaluated to determine adhesive selection. Some of these issues relate to environmental regulations that may govern VOCs (volatile organic compounds), the odour of the product in relation to the proximity of people, the relative humidity and moisture in the atmosphere, as well as health considerations that may need to be taken into account.

4. Project specific considerations
The specifics of the installation itself can then be determined. Do you need an immediate permanent bond? Does the flooring need to be lifted occasionally as in access flooring? Are large variations in temperature experienced during the application?

Only after these specific requirements for the floor and its installation have been identified, can the appropriate adhesive be selected. “One size fits all” does NOT apply. The most widely used adhesives are acrylic systems, but acrylic adhesives are formulated to achieve specific performance criteria to meet the specifics of the different circumstances.

Neoprene contact adhesive is a commonly used adhesive. This type of adhesive is chosen where an instant, flexible bond is required – with vinyl extrusions or wall cladding, for example. There are many different versions available, each designed for a specific application, e.g. brush grade, roller grade or spray grade, where the viscosity changes to meet the requirements.

iTe Products have tried to address all these factors and develop adhesives “fit for purpose” where the stringent technical requirements are met while satisfying ease of application to minimise potential problems.

For more information, contact iTe Products on Tel: +27 (11) 864 4918 or via www.iteproducts.co.za.

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