Book Binding Glue
Bookbinding adhesive is used in the manufacturing of books and the covers of hardcover books. There are two major commercial bookbinding techniques:
- Traditional is generally used for hardcover books
- Perfect is used for paperback books
Also commonly referred to as Hide Glue, Protein Glue, gelatin-based adhesive and cake glue. Gelatin used in animal glue is a recycled by-product of hides and bones of cattle and pigs. Animal glues are water-soluble, form a strong and long-lasting bond, possess excellent initial wet tack, and are non-hazardous, non-toxic, and biodegradable.
L.D. Davis Industries produces over 100 different hide glue formations with open times ranging from two seconds to three minutes.
In bookbinding, hide glue is used in hardcover case making, perfect binding, and back lining.
Resin is formed by mixing one or more resin emulsions with modifiers such as plasticizers, surfactants, defoamers, polyvinal alcohols, thickeners, fillers, adhesion promoters and biocides.
Resin is very strong and durable. Once applied, it quickly forms a strong and tight bond to a variety of different substrates and is extremely moisture-resistant.
The most common use for resin in bookbinding is casing-in and end-sheet tipping.
Hot melt has a brief history, with commercial use limited to the past 50-60 years. Hot melt adhesives are polymer-based and are 100 percent solid, containing no solvents or water.
Hot melt is thermoplastic, which means it is solid at room temperature but liquefies upon heating, then solidifies again upon cooling. This property gives hot melt a fast setting speed. The lack of water and solvents allows hot melt to attain peak bonding strength very quickly.
In bookbinding, hot melt is most typically used for perfect binding spine glue, side glue, gluing off/up, and back lining.
Top Bookbinding Products and Equipment Used
- Perfect Binding Equipment
The Major Advantages of Perfect Bookbinding Glue
Perfect binding is traditionally used for paperback books. The papers used for the sections of the book are left rough on one side to aid in the binding process, and then the other three sides are finished so that they look better.
The cover of the paperback book is made of a thicker paper than the ones used for the inside of the book. Then the cover of the book and the pages are placed with the heated adhesive in the perfect binding machine, with the glue along the spine of the book. When the bookbinding glue cools, it adheres to the pages and the cover of the book.
There are two types of paperback books; pulp paperbacks and trade paperbacks. Pulp paperbacks are smaller and often sold in drugstores, gas stations and airport gift shops. In fact, they got the name “airplane paperback” because many passengers used them to pass the time in flight or while waiting at the airport. These paperbacks use less durable glue so they don’t hold up as well.
Trade paperback books are the same size as hardcover books. While both pulp and trade paperbacks are often created after the book is published in hardback, trade paperback books are more durable and often created by the same publishing company as the original hardcover edition.
The thermally activated binding process uses glue along the bind and doesn’t need stitching to hold the books together. There are many advantages to using bookbinding glue as opposed to sewing a binding:
No risk of strings hanging out of the top or bottom of binding and unraveling
- Holds better than traditional sewn bindings
- Books glued instead of sewn last longer
- Have virtually no odor
- Clean machining compared to traditional methods
Bookbinding glue is used for paperback and hardcover books. There are many different types of thermally activated binding that use hot melt. Perfect, thermal, and cardboard article are the three most popular types of bookbinding techniques that use hot melt.
Thermal binding is used for hardcover books. Thermal binding consists of a one piece cover with glue down the spine to bind the documents to the cover without having to punch holes or use stitching.
In order to create a hardbound book using thermal binding, the paper and glue are placed in a griddle like machine to heat the glue. Then the glue binds the pages to the cover as it cools.
Most books are often published first in hard cover and then later published again as a paperback. The exception to this general rule of thumb is a new author. Many new authors, especially fiction writers, are published only in paperback. That is because the publishing house is reluctant to invest the money in a run of hardbound books in case the author doesn’t sell well.
The cardboard article bound book looks like a hardbound book but, in fact, is not. It is actually a paperback book with hardback covers. Many books that are sold on the market as hardbound books are, in reality, cardboard article books.
The cardboard article binding process binds the paperback to its more durable cover with a thermal adhesive using a perfect binding machine.
A valued book binding glue customer of over 20 years, Wayne Dean of Berryville Graphics, gave L.D. Davis the following testimonial: “Our bindery manager was struggling with turnover. He was in need of training for the inexperienced operators. L.D. Davis offered to set up seminars for training in the preparation and the application of their adhesives. The result was a significant reduction in our training costs and the elimination of a lot of waste. Because of their dedication and efforts, L.D. Davis was chosen as our vendor of the year…”