Animal glue is commonly referred to as Hide Glue. This term comes from the fact that gelatin used in this adhesive is extracted from collagen, a protein component of bovine and porcine hides and then graded for different uses in food, pharmacy and the adhesive industry. Adhesives of “animal” origin are all-natural, non-toxic, and biodegradable. The technical grades of gelatin are used to produce hide glue or cake glue. The term ‘cake glue’ refers to the finished adhesive in a cake form that must be melted by the end user prior to application.
Since the 1970’s, gelatin has more often been recycled from pharmaceutical and nutritional scrap gelatin. This can come in the form of soft gel netting or scrap hard cap. Soft gel netting is what’s left over from production of a Vitamin E gel cap, for example, while hard cap is ground up hard capsules, like Tylenol. Animal glue also contains Epsom salts, natural corn sugars, water, and glycerin. We are the larger of only two major animal glue manufacturers in the United States, and have been producing animal glue for over eight decades. We constantly source our raw materials and have amazing, long-standing relationships with our suppliers to ensure our customers can consistently get the animal glue they require for their applications.
Animal glue is most commonly applied using a wheel, roller, or pad. It is commonly found in match heads and other abrasives, such as sandpaper, paper crimping, laminating, woodworking, bookbinding, and rigid box or set-up box manufacture.
Top Animal Glue Products and Equipment Used
L.D. Davis animal glue is used in a wide variety of applications. Our lab can suggest an existing or custom animal glue for your specific application, but here are some of our most successful products based on the equipment used to run our adhesive.
- Sheridan Roller:
- Horauf Universal:
- Emmeci Box Machine:
- Crathern and S&S
- Perfect Binders Machines:
- Pot Devin Machines
Physical Properties of Animal Glue
- Animal glue is composed of technical gelatin, usually extracted from collagen found in hides and/or bones of pigs and cattle. Other ingredients include Epsom salts, water, natural corn sugars, and glycerin.
- These glues are sold in gelled cake form and are liquefied for use by heating to 140° F. The performance of modern animal glue formulations is much improved over the simple gelatin/water mixtures of the past.
- Our animal glues can be modified for almost any application and we are the main manufacturer and supplier of animal glue to the book binding industry. Our animal glue is also used in graphic arts, set-up boxes and many other applications.
- Animal glue formulations are tailored for each application by modifying parameters such as the level of tack, open time (speed of set) and viscosity. L.D. Davis Industries produces over 100 different animal glue formulations with open times ranging from 2 seconds to three minutes.
- The major limitation of animal glues is their lack of specific adhesion. Animal glues form only mechanical bonds, which means that they adhere well to porous surfaces but poorly to some coatings and all nonporous substrates such as metals and plastics.
- Animal glues have a long history- think back to tombs in Ancient Egypt. It is sometimes outperformed by synthetic adhesives, but persists because of their unique property of excellent wet tack which remains unmatched by any synthetic aqueous adhesive.
- Since they are all-natural, animal glues are sensitive to changes in heat and humidity. We offer different formulations for different seasons if climate control around its application is not possible or insufficient. We also offer an additive called Rapid Tack, which can be used if the animal glue is running too thin or setting too slowly. This can happen in high-heat and high-humidity conditions. For summertime application, animal glue generally requires less water dilution and you can always edit the amount of animal glue applied to see what works best. In the winter, sometimes raising the temperature will fix issues such as stringing, high viscosity and glue that sets too quickly. We recommend heating our animal glue within a range of 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Animal glues are considered eco-adhesives. They are totally non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and biodegradable. Our animal glue formulations begin to break down in the natural environment in a matter of weeks when disposed of.
The Major Advantages of Animal Glues
- Soluble in Water
- Eco-friendly, non-hazardous, non-toxic, biodegradable, repulpable
- Forms a strong and long-lasting bond
- Can be modified for open time, tack time and viscosity.
- Animal Glues possess excellent initial wet tack
- Useful in “green” applications