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The furniture and mattress industry makes use of a variety of adhesives and adhesive application systems which improve production and manufacturing processes. Used in office furniture, bed frames and many other furniture products, in this article we take a closer look at bonding soft furniture and furniture upholstery such as foam seating and foam mattresses.

Why use adhesives?

Adhesives are generally used to keep two or more components in place. This applies for soft furniture, furniture upholstery and also in the mattress industry. Any adhesive used in the furniture industry needs to have certain characteristics.  For example, furniture glues should not penetrate the pores of the material below so the adhesive remains on the surface.  This ensures a strong bond between materials without impacting on their performance. Additionally, any adhesive must be able to resist  tension during the application process. The better the absorption of tension in the adhesive, the faster and easier it is to apply, with a shorter drying time, which helps streamline the manufacturing processes.

In addition to the properties that aid the application process, furniture and mattresses adhesive should have a number of characteristics which support the quality of the finished product:

  • The furniture and mattress adhesive, as well as the foam and soft furnishings, should contribute to the efficiency and durability of the end product. It should have a long lifespan.
  • With upholstery and soft furnishings often using soft and flexible surfaces, the adhesive must be elastic and not break when the underlying material is moved.
  • Most furniture is designed to cover any seams or exposed areas. Nonetheless adhesive should hold materials together seamlessly and without staining. Even over time, the adhesive should not turn yellow or stain the substrate.
  • Sustainability has become a vital factor in the furniture and mattress industry in recent years, and that’s why manufacturers, such as Vita, are working increasingly with eco-friendly adhesive solutions to reduce the risk of contamination during the production process and in the finished product.
  • For furniture used in public spaces, public transport and other vehicles, it is important that the finished product together with its adhesive is not affected by strong cleaning chemicals and other aggressive substances.

 Eco-friendly adhesives for the furniture and mattress industry

In the past, the furniture industry widely used solvent-based adhesives but there has been a changing trend towards environmentally friendly adhesives hence the increasing demand for water-based adhesives or hot melt glue.

With both these adhesive types being solvent-free and safer for the work environment, the main difference is in their application. While water-based adhesives cure through evaporation or react through coagulation, hot melt glues are applied using heat and they cure as they cool down. The solvent-free hot melt adhesives are usually applied to furnishings by spray which allows lighter coat weights, whereas water-based glues can be applied by spray as well as roll coating.

With increasing demand for furniture, the adhesive market has also seen an increase in glues combined with solvent-based solutions to provide additional properties. For example, this may allow an adhesive to be stronger, or more heat or water resistant.

Adhesives for mattresses

A good mattress is the basis for a good night’s sleep, and adhesives play a pivotal role in the manufacturing process of mattresses. Here, the right adhesive needs to bond a number of layers, often different types of material and foam. This requires the glue to be highly flexible and to keep the shape of the mattress flexible for best sleeping comfort.

An adhesive for mattresses should also be able to bond with a range of different substrates which are usually difficult to bond, for example latex, viscose or gel foams. Therefore, different application methods are often used in conjunction with different adhesive systems to manufacture different mattress types.

To find out more about Vita’s manufacturing processes for foam mattresses at our Innovation Centre or contact us at info@thevitagroup.com. For information about adhesives visit www.vita-liquid.com or contact info@vita-liquid.co.uk

Posted 31st March 2021

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