It’s a new year, and a good time to make sure your hot melt tank is free of char. Since hot melt tanks, hoses and nozzles continuously undergo heat stress, they have the tendency to create char. Char is the oxidation of hot melt adhesive at elevated temperatures during prolonged heating.

Hot melt equipment contaminated with char can cause blocking and misfiring of nozzles as well as changes in viscosity and adhesive performance. Not only can these problems cause downtime, but it can also cause pop-opens and char to appear on your products after they have left the plant.

You can prevent these problems by routinely purging your hot melt tank to remove char and gel formation, especially when changing adhesives. After draining your current hot melt from the tank and removing any visible chunks of char, fill the tank with our Polar Purge™ hot melt cleaning compound and allow it sit for 30 minutes. Large chunks of char can be broken up around the sides of the tank with a putty knife.

Remember to always wear protective gear while purging your tank! Reduce the pressure on your tank’s pump to zero, drain the purge and remove any char that may have settled to the bottom of the pot. Next, fill the tank with hot melt, increase the pump pressure, and purge any remaining Polar Purge™.  Refill the tank with hot melt, and you are now ready to begin production on a clean slate.

While purging your hot melt tank is a good way to remove built-up char, the frequency of cleaning depends on many factors. You can reduce the need for purging by using a highly stable hot melt, keeping your hot melt pots full and covered, reducing temperatures when an adhesive is not in use.

If you think it may be time to purge your hot melt system, contact us at 1-800-844-1740 or to place an order for Polar Purge™. If you’re unsure about how often your tanks need purging, contact our technical service team, and we’ll visit your plant to perform an adhesive efficiency audit at no cost.

Begin the new year by performing necessary equipment maintenance that will optimize your process, reduce downtime and increase productivity.