When you think of starch, you might think about the white powdery substance which collects on the knife when you slice a raw potato, or perhaps you think of your favorite pasta dish. These things are starchy, but what actually is starch and how can starch glue be such an effective adhesive for some commercial applications? Let’s look a little closer and see.
Starch is sometimes called amylum which is a carbohydrate from various plant roots, seeds and stems. It is an important part of the diet and also used for fillers and adhesives. By nature, amylum is odorless, tasteless and white in color. Starch can be processed into sugars which are used in many different types of processed foods today. It also makes an excellent thickening agent for foods like gravies, puddings, and sauces.
If you have ever made something out of paper mache you probably made a starch glue by mixing together flour and water. This simple adhesive can be a very effective bonding agent.
Starch adhesive has some unique properties which make it ideal for the paper and cardboard industry. For example, many glues can only be applied hot or cold. However, with starch based adhesives, it really doesn’t matter. As soon as the adhesive begins to dry it starts the cure process (but it must be mixed with water before it can be used). Once the adhesive has cured, cold water will not affect it nor will exposure to alcohol.
One of the best features of plant based adhesives, is their natural ability to bond to paper and wood. In other words, there is no need to add chemicals to the process. Many adhesives today use all kinds of chemicals which are not good for the local eco system.
Because plant adhesives are natural, there are no strong odors or fumes from the process of gluing. This provides a safer and cleaner environment for everyone working in the production process. The method is natural, so wastewater can easily be recycled, making for a more efficient and cleaner operation.
Uses for Starch Glue Today
starch adhesive is very popular with the corrugated box industry. In addition, it is used to make paper shopping bags, wallpaper adhesive and tubing for paper towels and toilet paper. Most labels and envelopes are held together with natural plant based adhesives. This is not only a safe option, it is cost effective material which comes from a renewable source.