Hot melt glue sticks are a form of thermoplastic adhesive that is commonly supplied in solid cylindrical sticks available in 12mm, designed to be melted in an electric hand fed hot glue gun. The gun uses a continuous-duty heating element to melt the solid glue, which is pushed through the gun by a trigger mechanism. The glue squeezed out of the heated nozzle is molten and can flow onto the surface to be bonded. The glue is tacky when hot, but hardens as it loses its heat in just a few seconds. It can set almost immediately with good compression.
A common material for the glue sticks is ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer. The vinyl acetate monomer content is about 18–29 percent by weight of the polymer. Various additives are usually present, e.g. a tackifying resin and wax.
Two major types are available:
‘FastFix 5’ A fast setting grade for general paper and board applications. Perfect for quick assembly.
‘FastFix 4’ A high adhesion slower setting grade for difficult substrates including plastics, and for applications where a longer open time is needed.