Date of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Applied Science (MASc)


Chemical Engineering


David K. Potter




Hot-melt adhesives have been commercially available for a long time and they are used in a wide range of applications. The adhesive performance is governed by the adhesive material property as well as the application conditions for each type of substrate. In order to achieve a good bond between the adhesive and the designated substrate, both wetting ability and open time of the adhesive material have to be considered. Three commercial hot-melts were used in this study in order to examine the relationship between the material property and the adhesive performance. The thermal properties of the materials were obtained through Differential Scanning Calorimetry while Dynamic Analysis (DA) described their viscoelastic behaviour, and the hysteresis loop helped to characterize the flow regime from which the application conditions for the adhesive could be chosen. The adhesive performance was evaluated in term of the force required to break the bond between the adhesive and the substrate through a series of standardized pull-off tests. The effect of the time-temperature trade-off on the adhesive performance by varying the application temperature as well as prolonging the available bond-formation time was also examined. In most cases, the adhesive performance improved with extended open time. However, improved adhesive performance was also shown to be the response of shorter Maxwell characteristic time which was evaluated from the DA data. By providing the characteristic time as a linkage, a relationship between the adhesive performance and the material properties could be established. These results also offer a basis for the formulation of adhesives using structure-property parameters derived from DA.

McMaster University Library