As a workhorse of the adhesive industry, hot melt hoses occasionally require basic maintenance and cleaning to sustain optimum performance. In this article, we address 7 frequently asked questions about hot melt hoses and offer advice about how to get the best value and performance out of your hot melt equipment.
1) What Is A Hot Melt Hose?
The hose is the component that makes up a hot melt system and come in a variety of sizes, starting at 2 foot reaching up to 24 foot in length. These increase in 2 foot increments. One end is connected to the manifold on the glue tank, and the opposing end is attached to the gun, often through the means of an in-line filter (check site for more info). Hot melt hoses play a vital role in allowing us to transfer molten glue to separate glue guns that may need to be placed in certain locations to meet production demands. Also significantly, the hose must keep the glue at the correct temperature to ensure problem free adhesion.
2) What Are Hot Melt Hoses Made From?
Hot melt hoses usually have multiple layers. The core is typically manufactured from Teflon, which can withstand temperatures of up to 260oC. Combined with foam insulation and a woven stainless steel, high tensile braid this creates a flexible and durable component that can tolerate pressure, vibration, and heat.
3) Do Hot Melt Hoses Get Blocked?
Hot glue can form clumps, which is known as ‘charring’. Charred glue has different properties to liquid adhesives, and these can quickly accumulate in the hose. Additionally, hoses can become kinked, which causes permanent damage to the structural integrity of the hose, termed ‘elastic deformation’. In time, all hoses will need to be replaced, because the repeated stress of heat and pressure will gradually degrade the material.
4) Can Hot Melt Hoses Crack?
A good hose will deliver excellent value over a long time period, but even the best made hoses will eventually start to crack. This is due to the natural lifecycle of the materials, the repeated heating and cooling cycles, and careless handling or accidents. When hoses crack, they will begin to leak. Leaking causes a heat imbalance and blockages, which can accelerate other problems.
5) Do Hot Melt Hoses Leak?
Leaks are rare, but serious. Hot melt hoses can start to leak if they are old or cracked, and areas where the hose connects to the gun/filter and glue tank are also vulnerable to cross threading. Leaks reduce the efficiency and productivity of the equipment and create unnecessary waste, so addressing them promptly is important.
6) How Should I Maintain My Hot Melt Hoses?
The most cost-effective approach is to use a proactive maintenance routine, including the disassembly and cleaning of all your hot melt equipment. Proactive maintenance anticipates cracks and leaks and deals with them before they spiral into expensive downtime. We are able to heat and pressure test all hoses required on production lines. The main risk factors for damaged hoses are kinking, bending, being stepped on, or being run over. If any of these things happen, the hose should be checked and, if necessary, replaced.
7) How Often Should I Replace My Hot Melt Hoses?
Hot melt hoses are designed for durability and longevity. However, the lifespan of the hose will depend on factors such as the manufacturing quality, the intensity of use, and whether it has been damaged. The estimated lifecycle of a well looked after hot melt hose is 4-5 years.
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