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[BKARTS] The fairy dust of adhesive lay-flat bindings-Rainbow RH209 Adhesive?



INTRODUCTION
I have been trying to perfect a strong adhesive lay-flat binding. Two months
ago I made a test book using the double-fan gluing method and using a
bookbinding cold emulsion adhesive which was very weak in the corner pull
test. It scored miserably at only 0.15 lbs. It was as easy to pull a page
out of this book as a writing pad. I got this adhesive from a local
bookbinder who uses it for binding books. A month ago I obtained a new cold
emulsion adhesive which is far stronger and scored 1.8 lbs in the corner
pull test or 12 times stronger than the previous adhesive. I have been away
on holidays for three weeks, so am just now posting the results. I took my
latest test tape-bound lay-flat book on my holidays and showed it to dozens
of people to get their reaction. When they opened up the book their
immediate reaction was that they had snapped the binding of the book as it
opened so very flat. They were amazed that the pages were still very much
bound together. I traveled with my 81 yr old parents and my father suggested
that the book "had been well discussed," and my mother was amazed that in
spite of whipping the book around endlessly for weeks to show people how
strong the book was it "still held together."

SUMMARY
My latest double-fan cold emulsion adhesive tape bound test book is strong.
In page pull tests it was 1.6 times stronger and in corner pull tests it was
1.4 times stronger than a production polyurethane (PUR) bound book. This
adhesive binding strength approaches the strength of paper in the corner
pull test. It also passed 200 cycles of the Subway Test and 4000 cycles of
the Whip Test. A thick section of adhesive casting however snapped in two at
minus 15 deg C or 5 deg F. The double-fan adhesive bound book however was
subjected to the same minus 15 deg C and cracked open 360 degrees in several
places and did not appear to permanently affect the binding. The adhesive
was still strong enough at about 60 deg C or 140 deg F. Polyurethane
adhesive may be a better all around adhesive for production binding but for
smaller bookbinding operations cold emulsion adhesives can be pretty
acceptable and much easier and safer to work with.

LATEST COLD EMULSION ADHESIVE, WOW
Rupert Evans has been trying to tell me that cold emulsion adhesives can be
pretty strong. The cold emulsion adhesive that I had previously bought was
very weak so I was confused. The local bookbinder I bought this adhesive
from claimed it was the same he used for his quality bookbinding.
Unfortunately cold adhesives rarely come with technical specifications as to
their strength so how was I to know which cold emulsion adhesive would be
better. The bookbinder wouldn't tell me who makes it. After lot's of time on
the telephone and the Internet I actually located an adhesive distributor
about two kilometers from my place who sell an emulsion adhesive specially
formulated for them called Rainbow RH209. They say it is a copolymer mixture
of PVA and EVA. They won't tell me any more about it and say the ingredients
are secret but claim it is pretty strong. Apparently it is widely used by
bookbinders in the Vancouver Canada area including the local central public
library for spine binding and they ship to many places around the world as
well. It is a high solids (60%) adhesive, but beyond this, little more
information appears on their specification sheets. By the way, the area
salesman and the distributor had never heard of the Reichold Elvace 1874 or
the newer number Elvace 40-704 in their long careers. These names have been
widely mentioned on the Book Arts list. Between private labeling and non
existent specification sheets how does anyone really know what they are
using? I guess everyone has to do their own tests! So I made two new test
book books and wow. This new adhesive is strong. The latest adhesive
representative sniffed the previous cold emulsion adhesive I had tried and
guessed that is was weak padding adhesive. I think he is right. What a
world, this bookbinding. No specifications. I wonder how many other quality
bookbinders out there are using padding adhesive for their books?

TEST BOOKS
I only made the books marked with an asterisk*. My adhesive bound books were
softcover tape bound and did use fairly tight weave bookbinding mull for the
tape of 0.010 inches thickness. This type of book binding is similar to the
thermal tape bound books in construction. Separate covers are used for front
and back and the tape is applied to the book block spine and wrapped around
the covers for 1/2 an inch. This results in a very flexible spine. The book
block was double-fan glued with fanning at 90 degrees. The knife cut pages
were carefully aligned by jogging. The book block was clamped on both sides
while the adhesive was applied. The adhesive was applied with a foam brush,
nondiluted. The tape had glue applied to it on one side as well. A
reasonable amount of pressure was applied to the tape on application so the
tape would be closest to the paper possible. The book block was taken out of
the fanning press right after the tape was applied, but carefully, and
allowed to dry with the book laying flat. All tests done at least 48 hours
after adhesive application. The other books tested are commercially made.
All the books had non coated paper in the 20/50 lb range.

PAGE PULL TESTS
Here is my latest bookbinding test, number 2, along with previous one's. I
used a page pull tester made with a slot in the board and an inverted pant
hanger.

   1. 5 minute epoxy, 90 degree Double fan single application,  noncoated
paper, Stiff book block, Page pull average= 10.9 lbs/inch*
   2. Hot melt adhesive, Thermal Binding, noncoated paper, Page pull
average=6.3 lbs/inch
   3. RH209 adhesive, 90 degree Double fan single application, nondiluted,
noncoated paper, Page pull average=5.0 lbs/inch*
   4. Polyurethane adhesive, Clamped at spine single application, noncoated
paper, Page pull average=3.2 lbs/inch
   5. PVA padding adhesive, Double fan single application, nondiluted,
noncoated paper, Page pull average=2.54 lbs/inch*
   6. Polyurethane adhesive, Clamped at spine single application, coated
paper, Page pull average=2.09 lbs/inch
   7. Hot melt adhesive, Typical perfect bound, noncoated paper, Page pull
average=1.9 lbs/inch

PAPER TENSILE STRENGTH
I've included these tests as a comparison. Notice that the 5 minute epoxy
bound test book approaches the strength of paper. I made a test strip with
necked down area of 0.25 inches wide. Stapled cardboard tabs with punched
holes to each end. Paper is 0.004 inches thick. Applied force with jug
filled with water till the paper tore. Calculated the combined mass of jug
and water.

   1. Office Depot multipurpose paper long grain=7400 psi=29.6 lbs/inch
   2. Office Depot multipurpose paper cross grain=3557 psi=14.2 lbs/inch

CORNER PULL TESTS
In my corner pull tests I marked a 15 deg angle across one page. I stapled a
cardboard tab with punched hole onto the upper corner of the preceding page
which I pulled at the 15 degree angle till it tore visibly. Usually when the
tear started it spread quickly. At the 1.8 lbs pull the paper often starts
tearing before the adhesive. I believe this is the most important tear test.
Not many people are going to be pulling with 43 lbs force to tear out an
entire page of a trade paperback. My tests show that corner pull strength is
not proportional to the page pull strength.

   1. RH209 adhesive, Double fan single application, nondiluted,  noncoated
paper, Corner pull average=1.8 lbs*
   2. 5 minute epoxy, Double fan single application,  noncoated paper,
Corner pull average=1.8 lbs*
   3. Hot melt adhesive, Thermal Binding, noncoated paper, Corner pull
average=1.3 lbs
   4. Polyurethane adhesive, Clamped at spine single application, noncoated
paper, Corner pull average=1.3 lbs
   5. Folded stapled sheets, noncoated paper, Corner pull average=1.3 lbs
   6. Vinyl repair cold adhesive, Clamped at spine single application,
nondiluted,
noncoated paper, Page pull average=0.90 lbs
   7. Sewn signatures, noncoated paper, Corner pull average=0.75 lbs
   8. Hot melt adhesive, Typical perfect bound, noncoated paper, Corner pull
average=0.67 lbs
   9. PVA padding adhesive, Double fan single application, nondiluted,
noncoated
paper, Corner pull average=0.15 lbs*

REBSAMEN SUBWAY TEST
The RH209 tape bound test book passed 200 cycles of the subway test with no
pages detaching in any way. In this test the book is opened and bent 360
degrees backwards on itself hard with the hands so an entire page can be
read without tilting the book for one handed reading.

WIENS WHIP TEST
The RH209 tape bound test book passed 4000 cycles of the whip test with no
pages detaching in any way. In this test the book is opening and one side is
held with one or two hands while the other side is whipped open and closed
in a 360 degree arc violently between 1-3 cycles per second. Some very
stiffly bound books can't be as easily tested this way and should be tested
with the Rebsamen subway test instead but this takes longer for initial
tests.

COVER PEEL TEST
The biggest problem with a lay-flat book is that it opens so well. This puts
the glue under more stress when trying to pull on the pages of a fully
opened book. A glue joint that is peeled back on itself is far weaker than a
lap joint not peeled. The glue joint between the cover and the first page
may be the most highly stressed in a lay-flat book. In the case of a tape
bound book, the tape is stronger than paper and so it doesn't readily tear.
I had made two different test books. One book used only standard thickness
paper for the cover, the other used 0.010 thick card stock. The more
flexible paper cover resulted in a stronger first and second page. In either
case I found that I could peel off the tape binding when tugging on the
cover with a lot of force. I did not have a good means of measuring this
force, but it appeared to be equal or higher than the force needed to tear
out a page of the book. The cover peel strength seems to be adequate. I
found I could peel off covers of other production books with about the same
force. I'd like to do more tests.

HOT AND COLD TESTS
A casting of the RH209 adhesive 0.020 inches thick cooled to minus 15 deg C
or 5 deg F bent over on itself snapped in two but at minus 10 degrees C
appeared to be reasonably pliable. A test book cooled to minus 15 deg C or 5
deg F was stiff but pages appeared to remain intact after warming with 10
subway test cycles of bending 360 degrees. Test was done crudely by handling
sample with cooled gloves in the freezer. The adhesive was still strong
enough when heated to about 60 deg C or 140 deg F.

LAY-FLAT
The RH209 adhesive double-fan tape bound book lay flatter than the thermal
tape bound book and about the same as the polyurethane tape bound book block
(both RepKover with spine cover cut off). With the RH209 adhesive double-fan
bound book every page of a 8.5 x 11 inch book block would likely lie flat on
it's own weight.

RH209 adhesive
This adhesive may be as strong as the one you are already using. You would
have to do similar tests to see. I would be interested in seeing your
results. If you are interested in trying the RH209 adhesive you can get it
from:

Rainbow Industrial Products
2390 Canoe Ave. Coquitlam BC V3K6C2 Canada
Tel: 604-941-5051
Fax: 604-941-5044

Cost: Cdn$20 for 1 liter. Minimum purchase Cdn$20.

Ben Wiens...applied energy scientist
Ben Wiens Energy Science Inc.
8-1200 Brunette Ave. Coquitlam BC Canada V3K1G3
E-mail: ben@benwiens.com
Energy Website: http://www.benwiens.com
Read my very popular web-booklet "The Future of Fuel Cells"

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