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

Ben Wiens' report of his tests is quite interesting, and confirms what I have
observed. However, I have not done corner pull or whip tests.
   I would appreciate it if he would describe his "Corner Pull" test in
greater detail. It sounds very interesting.
   How do the results of his "Wiens Whip Test" correlate with the page pull
tests and with the standard page flex tests?
   Using mull to duplicate thermal tape binding poses difficulties in keeping
the tape edges parallel to the spine. However, I use double-fan gluing, and
incorporate the mull in one operation. As I apply the glue to the bent-over
spine, I brush a bit along the edge of the endpaper. I do the same on the
other bend of the book block. Then I apply the mull before removing the book
block from the press. After the glue has set for an hour or so, I attach a
wrap-around cover, by applying a thin bead of adhesive on the mull, about 1/2
inch from, and parallel to the spine (on both the front and back of the text
block). This yields a loose spine and allows the book to open freely, while
keeping good page retention strength.
   The problem of secrecy in adhesive manufacture is quite severe. Each
manufacturer seems to feel that the way to gain market share is to promote its
brand name, rather than to provide information about chemical composition and
test results. Some feel free to change the composition of their adhesives
without notice, so you must not only do your own tests, but do them
    For those who don't want to buy large quantities of adhesives, I recommend
Aleene's Tacky Glue and SoBo. These are available in craft and art stores in 4
to 8 oz bottles which are also handy applicators of beads of glue. My problem
with large quantities of adhesives is that they get old and lose their
strength before I use them up. I don't use glue that is more than one year
>===== Original Message From "Book_Arts-L: READ THE FAQ at
http://www.philobiblon.com"              <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU> =====
>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."
>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.
>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?
>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.
>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
>   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
>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
>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,
>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,
>paper, Corner pull average=0.15 lbs*
>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.
>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
>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.
>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.
>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
>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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>            resources and links go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ at:
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Rupert N. Evans
Summer: 101 W Windsor Rd. #4107, Urbana, IL 61802-6697
Winter: 501-391 S LaPosada Circle, Green Valley, AZ 85614
Author of Book-On-Demand Publishing
I love to print and bind books

            BOOK_ARTS-L: The listserv for all the book arts.
      For subscription information, the Archive, and other related
            resources and links go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ at:

        Archive maintained and suppported by Conservation OnLine

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