Cured Adhesive Flammability

There’s a question we hear a lot regarding TensorGrip canister contact adhesives. That is, “are these adhesives flammable after they’ve dried?”  The short answer is, no.  Once the solvent has flashed off – no matter whether it’s a flammable or a non-flam solvent – the remaining adhesive is not flammable.

A Bit Deeper Look at Flammability

TensorGrip adhesives are used successfully in several industries that often have stringent requirements for resistance to flame, smoke and burning, including aircraft, vehicles, and buildings.

Briefly the flammability characteristics of TensorGrip spray adhesives fall into two categories:

  1. Dry film characteristics
    1. None of the TensorGrip adhesives have any significant flammability risk when the adhesive is cured or dried, no matter what their wet characteristics are.
    2. Several of our products are regularly used as part of an assembly that has been tested to specific requirements such as FAA FAR 14CFR 25.853 (a) & (c) in aircraft
    3. TensorGrip adhesives are not specifically “fire retardant”, in other words they are not formulated to put out a flame.  There is usually no advantage to that, because in use the adhesive is between two materials that are the major influence on flammability
    4. Normally the assembly of components are tested for flammability, however L17 adhesive does have a BS476 part 7, 1997, class 1 rating
  2. Wet characteristics, during application and while drying or curing only.  After drying or curing the dry film characteristics shown in Section 1 apply to all of the adhesives.
    1. “Non-flammable” adhesives are formulated with non-flammable solvents and the solvents will not burn in the presence of a flame, however the solvents do have some health hazards, though generally they are not considered VOCs. 
    2. “Flammable” adhesives are formulated with solvents that will burn in the presence of a flame.  Precautions during the time of application and drying or curing of the adhesive allow this class of adhesive to be used widely in industry with no problem.  Ironically, some flammable adhesives meet the desired standards of the areas with the tightest restrictions such as California SCAQMD Rule 1168, with low VOCs.

Staying Safe with Flammable Adhesives

As mentioned above, the final product of flammable adhesives is not a flammability danger.  However, because of the risk during application, some precautions should be taken to make sure you’re not putting yourself or your facility at risk.  As always, be sure you’re applying the adhesive in a well-ventilated area. Eliminate any sources of spark or flame, i.e. cigarettes, lighters, poor electrical connections and more. 

Finally, use common sense to minimize the risk for everyone around you.  If you have any concerns or experience any discomfort spraying, take a second look at how you’re doing it.  Review the Tech Data Sheet (TDS) and SDS for the product specifications. Then give us a shout if you have any remaining concerns!  That’s why the Adhesive Innovators are here!  Contact us.