CDPHE LogoCase Study


Wood Products & Furniture:
Switch to Water-Based and Hot-Melt Adhesives

Company Shafer Commercial Seating
4101 East 48th Avenue
Denver, CO 80216-3298
Person to Contact Irwin Suson, Plant Manager
Telephone: (303) 322-7792
Product or Service Chairs, tables, and booths for restaurants and hotels
Number of Employees 168
Waste Stream Targeted Adhesive-related waste, emissions
Original System Solvent-based liquid adhesives were used in the manufacture of chairs and booths. These adhesives, used in assembly and edge bonding (bonding foam pads and seat backings onto wood or foam), were sprayed on with an adhesive spray gun. Typical synthetic resins and contact or hot melt adhesives contain up to 50% organic solvents such as formaldehyde and 1,1,1- trichloroethane (TCA), which are hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) as well as volatile organic compounds (VOC)s.
New System
(with P2 Modifications)
Water-based adhesives and solventless hot melt adhesives (100% solids) replaced solvent-based adhesives in the manufacturing processes. The hot melt pellets are melted in a glue pot and warm glue extruded onto material surfaces or applied with an adhesive spray gun (used to bond foam to foam, foam to wood). Water-based liquid contact adhesives are generally applied with a stainless steel adhesive spray gun (used to attach wood backing onto seating materials). In water-based adhesives, water alone or in conjunction with an organic solvent, acts as the carrying medium, reducing or eliminating VOCs and/or HAPs in the adhesive material.
Cost Savings
Initial Equipment Costs A Binks HVLP BBR Spray gun system for use with hot melt adhesives cost ~$3,000.00. A Slautterdack stainless steel adhesive spray system for use with water-based adhesives cost ~$3,200.00.
Material Cost Savings (12) 55-gallon drums of solvent-based liquid adhesives were used/year at a cost of $1,200/55-gallon or $14,400/year.
Shafer uses ~(4) 55-gallon drums/year of the HP Fuller water- based adhesive at a cost of $1,200/drum or $4,800/year. ~1,500 lb/year of the Slautterdack hot melt adhesive is used at a cost of ~$2.50/lb. or ~$3,800/year. Total material cost savings of ~$5,800/year.
Waste Disposal Costs Waste disposal costs are similar since very little adhesive waste is generated from the processes. Payback is about 1 year.
Major Benefits Reduced VOC and HAP emissions by ~ 50% (~2,600 lb/yr).
Material cost savings of ~$5,800/year.
Positive business image.
Reduced fire hazard.
Improved worker health and safety, liability reduction.
Obstacles Employee adjustment to new products.
Equipment for use with water-based adhesives should be corrosion resistant i.e., plastic or stainless steel.
Equipment may need to be cleaned immediately after use.
Water-based adhesives require slightly increased drying times.
Time Since Implementation 1 year. (1/23/96)
Source/Supplier Slautterdack Company
1663 Catalina St., Sand City, CA
(800) 722-0358

HP Fuller Company
200 Sunston Road, Kansas City, KS 66115
(800) 255-4210

Main Reason Implemented Reduce VOC and HAPs emissions and reduce regulatory burden and liabilities.
Improve employee health and safety and reduce liability.
Key to Success in Making this P2 Modification Management support/commitment to pollution prevention.
Working with vendors to find environmentally "friendly" products/materials.

Created by Lighthouse Communications Group, LLC.
Edited for use on this site by Ronald Lee Still and posted with permission of CDPHE.