A History of Adhesives

The Neanderthals used glues, and while the core ingredients and overall process have not changed substantially, today’s adhesive manufacturer uses much more precise processes to ensure the quality of the manufacturing process, reduce waste, and ensure product quality. Whether an adhesive manufacturer uses byproducts from slaughterhouses or fish processing plants, the core materials used to make glue are animal hides, bones, scales, and connective tissue.

The process of making glue starts with the raw materials. Adhesive manufacturers generally locate their plants near the raw material source to reduce transportation costs and spoilage.

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The glue-making process involves multiple stages. The first involves washing the raw materials to remove dirt and other impurities. The animal products then undergo numerous stages of washing and soaking the materials with lime. The resulting mix is called stock.

Acids are added to the stock to eliminate the residual lime, and the stock is boiled, which helps break the materials into collagen. The stock continues cooking, and steps are taken to remove additional impurities. Additional steps occur to remove water from the stock and enhance the concentration. In the final stages, the stock becomes glue liquor, and various additives get inserted to change the glue’s color or solidify it. From that point, the adhesive manufacturer packages the glue in a form based on the glue’s application or use.


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