Water based pallet adhesive is a safer, cleaner and more environmentally friendly alternative to spray adhesives normally used by screen printers to hold shirts down during printing. In this article and video we explore how to use water based pallet adhesive.
The only products not ideal for use with water based pallet adhesive is fleece lined garments, since the fluffy lining deactivates the glue very fast indeed.
Using water based pallet adhesive with t shirts and other products gives you a substantial number of prints before needing to reactivate the glue. Once you know how to use water based pallet adhesive, it is an extremely easy product to live with and it will keep your screen printing press and its surroundings much cleaner while also ensuring a much safer working environment for employees who are normally subjected to breathing the glue vapour from spray adhesive on a daily basis.
Another benefit of this water based pallet adhesive is that it does not contain anything flammable and it can be thinned down with a little water if you want to use a spray gun to apply it to the pallets.
How To Use Water Based Pallet Adhesive: Application
The first step, if you want to keep things very simple, would be to apply pallet masking tape to your pallets. This ensures that press clean-down is a simple matter of pulling the pallet masking tape off. It will save you time and effort in the long run.
To apply Hydrotenax water based pallet adhesive, we recommend a small squirt bottle with a long spout as the best applicator. Just make sure that you clean the long thin spout out after use or it may get blocked up with glue drying in it.
An old credit card is another handy tool for this operation. Simply apply the glue to the pallet in a sweeping motion (see video), taking care not to apply too much. Use the credit card to spread this evenly across the surface of the pallet. It is important that the layer is thin and evenly applied, since thick clumps will cause print problems during production.
Allow the glue layer to dry fully. You can either leave it to air dry or use a flash cure unit to do it nice and quick, but do not leave your flash cure unit and walk away during this operation as it is really quick.
Overheating the pallet tape will make removing it later very difficult and you could cause the paper to catch fire and or damage your pallet underneath. Maybe not too bad if it is a metal pallet, but you will still damage the rubber top and if the pallet is made of wood, a very big potential risk of fire. Just use common sense.
How To Reactivate The Glue
Although the pallet adhesive is extremely sticky, the lint and fluff from the products you print will eventually start to interfere with the tackiness of the glue layer. This is not a problem at all though – all you need is a spray bottle with some water and a sponge. Simply spray the entire surface with a light mist of water and use the sponge to wipe the lint from the wet surface.
Allow the pallet adhesive to either air dry while you have a coffee break or dry it quickly with your flash cure unit and you are ready to push that squeegee again with the stickiness as good as new. You can do this as many times as you need to through the day. Now you know how to use water based pallet adhesive! Welcome clean air and a much reduced fire risk in your shop thanks to the absence of the highly flammable spray adhesives.