Pneumatic glue guns are a highly versatile type of pneumatic spray gun that is used for the atomization and dispensing of various hot melt adhesives. Due to their ability to melt and dispense very strong and highly stable adhesives, they are used widely for commercial applications.
A pneumatic spray gun use compressed air to atomize the liquid into very fine particles. They have many advantages over aerosols. The spray is never airborne, eliminating the need for protective masks or overalls. The guns don’t generate excess glue, so clean-up is easy.
This great tool simplifies the manufacturing process, providing even and standardized dispersion of hot melt adhesives. You get a quick, precise, hot melt spray. This helps minimize costs and delivery times, providing more customer satisfaction and better quality control.
Follow these tips and tricks to get the most out of your pneumatic spray gun.
Avoid using the spray gun in high humidity or outdoors if it is raining. Do not use it in areas where there are any flammable or heat-sensitive materials.
Don’t Forget the Warm-Up Period
Your spray gun will take a few minutes to warm up to the proper temperature. Be patient. Allow the gun the full ten minutes before attempting to use it. Do not touch the nozzle or adhesive to test if it is hot. Wear protective gloves because the hot adhesive can cause skin burns. If you accidently have contact with the adhesive immediately rinse the affected area in cold water.
Ensure the Air Flow Setting Is Correct
The airflow provided by the compressor is a precise setting. You need sufficient airflow to provide turbulence to aerosolize the adhesive into small particles and move equally into the nozzle for distribution. Consult the manufacturer's guidelines for ideal air flow from the compressor, as well as the guidelines for the adhesive.
Prepare the Surface
This is a critical step. No matter how well your spray gun works and how experienced you are at applying the hot melt, if you don’t take the time to prepare the surface the adhesive will not work properly.
Use at the Proper Temperature
Pneumatic spray guns and hot melt work best at the manufacturer’s recommended temperature. Check the ideal temperature for your gun in the instruction manual, and confirm the proper melting temperature of the adhesive.
Use the Correct Nozzle
Pneumatic spray guns, for example the TEC 6300 gun, have several optional nozzles available. The type of nozzle (narrow, medium, or wide) and the various incremental variety within the types, makes a difference in how well the adhesive works.
All new pneumatics come with the standard medium nozzle.
Optional Accessories Can Improve Operator Performance and Safety
Consider purchasing one or more of the accessories that come with pneumatic TEC guns. The adjustable tension cord and stand will reduce operator fatigue. The stand comes in a desk or wall-mounted version.
Use the Right Piston Pressure Settings
Before you use a hot spray gun, always turn the screw on the pack fully clockwise to ensure maximum piston pressure. By adjusting the pressure setting you can control the pattern, giving you longer open times and more accurate gluing. Adjusting it properly allows you to spray at any angle.
Pay Attention to the Spray Pattern
A spiral pattern when spraying is considered ideal. This maximizes the temperature of the adhesive when sprayed, which means it will remain tacky longer.
If you see a splatter pattern, that means the spray control is turned up too high. Turn it down incrementally until you achieve a spiral when spraying.
Ideally, apply the hot melt to the edges first, then corner to corner. Place the second material over the glue but without applying pressure. Position it and then apply pressure and the hot melt will instantly bond.
Pay attention to the open times. Polyolefin resins have an open time of between 3-6 minutes. Remember that once you apply compression, the bond is made.
Formulation Is Important
Choose your tech formulations carefully. Different formulations have different adhesive times and colors.
Using Spraytec glue slugs as an example, here are the characteristics of each type that will affect how and with what materials you use it:
- Spraytec 410 – This hot melt has a very short working time and low tack. This makes it ideal for pallet stabilization, for example.
- Spraytec 420 - This has a much longer open time. It is white and hence invisible on polystyrene.
- Spraytec 425 – You can see the 425 on polystyrene as it is brown in color. This formulation provides a higher output for larger areas.
- Spraytec 430 – The 430 provides you with the highest adhesive performance and longest opening time, but has the lowest output.
Spray Gun Maintenance
Like any tool, if you care for it properly your spray gun will not only last longer but will also continue to operate at peak efficiency throughout its lifespan. Read and follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations. Never use the tool if it is damaged and always unplug from its power source before carrying out any maintenance or repairs.