How to deal with char in your hot melt hose

Adhesive char when using bulk hot melt is a pain. It is awful to clean and can be a real productivity killer if the problem is happening on a regular basis. We've put together some of the most common reasons hot melt char occurs and ways to minimize it from happening. 

How and Why Hot Melt Char Forms

  • Every hot melt has a pot life, which is the time when the heat and oxygen cause the hot melt to degrade.
  • Adhesive char forms when your hot melt system is idle, while it's on and heated.
  • Hot Melt closest to the heated wall of the hose moves slower than that in the center of the hose. This hot melt is hotter and moving slower causing it to degrade more quickly and form char on the hose wall.
  • Adhesive char in hot melt hoses has a tendency to break loose and cause clogs in filters, guns and nozzles.
  • Hot melt made with lower-grade raw materials degrade and forms char faster than higher quality hot melt adhesives
  • Changing the hot melt adhesive in your tank and flexing or bending your hot melt hose will cause the char to break off faster.

No, you can't really clean your hot melt hose.

  • Using a snake to clean out your hose sounds like a great idea but avoid the temptation. Using a snake will scratch the walls of your hose causing them to collect char even faster.
  • Cleaning your hot melt hose can damage the hose and in turn void your systems UL listing.
  • Flushing out your hot melt tank can remove some char and prevent it from entering your hot melt hose. See our Enviroflush for details. 

How to Minimize and Reduce Hot Melt Charring

  • Use the best quality hot melt that makes sense for your application. You may save money on a bargain hot melt but it will usually cost you in the long run with equipment damage, down time and nozzle/filter replacement costs. Check out our clean burning Infinity CleanPACK for a great example of a mix between quality and price. 
  • Check your temperature. Run your hot melt at the lowest possible temperature to keep up with dispensing demands. Higher temperatures, especially during idle times, are the biggest culprit of hot melt charring.
  • Perform regular maintenance and cleaning. Nip that charring issue in the bud with regular maintenance and cleaning of your hot melt equipment. It is always better to clean in advance than HAVE to clean due to a malfunction caused by charring. 
  • Replace your hot melt hose. Once your hot melt hose shows any type of external damage, has been wet (non-waterwash), develops leaking fittings or clogs a new nozzle within 3 months of use - it is time to change out for a new hose. See our awesome selection of hot melt hoses here

Top 7 Ways to Lower Char and Hose Replacement Costs

  1. Use a inline filter between your gun and hose. This will trap char before it clogs your guns or nozzles
  2. Make sure you flush your hot melt tank regularly and when you change adhesives. This is a very easy process, you can do to help extend the life of your hose. A great product for flushing your hot melt tank is Enviro-Flush.
  3. Keep your hot melt hoses off the ground. When a hose gets stepped on, ran over by equipment, wet or just getting covered in dirt it will have a shorter life.
  4. On a daily basis clean off any dust and debris from the hose. Also, wipe off any hot melt on the hose fittings or the hose braid, while wearing safety gloves. This will reduce the likelihood hot spots in the hose and kinking.
  5. Avoid flexing, bending or moving your hose when possible
  6. Use special hose straps, do not use wire, plastic ties, etc. with your hot melt hose.
  7. The hot melt adhesive you buy makes a difference. Low quality hot melt adhesives degrade and form char more quickly.

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