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Industrial Adhesives: Five Reasons to Read the Instructions Carefully


For the average 3M preferred tape converter in the United Kingdom, there’s one pet peeve that rings true in all cases. That being, when customers encounter problems or suffer the brunt of accidents, simply because they did not bother to read the instructions.

The trouble is that while adhesives across the board share many similarities, they also have their own very unique properties. Which is particularly true when it comes to custom adhesive products, which may be unlike any others on the market. And the beauty of buying bespoke is that you obtain a product designed to fit your needs 100% flawlessly. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that the product in question can be taken for granted and treated like any other generic adhesive.

It’s a particularly frustrating issue for two reasons. The first of which being that to ignore the instructions is to open the door to potentially catastrophic consequences. As for the second, it’s the way in which all such incidents and consequences could easily be avoided. Really – reading the instructions and ensuring you understand them represents a small price to pay for what you get in return.

So with this in mind, what follows is a brief overview of just five of the many important reasons to ensure you always read and acknowledge the instructions in full:

1. Essential health and safety

First of all, and as already mentioned, reading the instructions is the single most important step towards better health and safety. The simple fact of the matter is that if you don’t understand how potentially dangerous a customer adhesive product is, you can’t realistically expect to use it safely. What constitutes safe handling and use of one adhesive may prove to be incredibly dangerous with another. Even the subtlest of differences from one adhesive product to the next can add up to an enormous difference, as far as health and safety is concerned.  And of course, health and safety isn’t something you should only care about for your own benefit – try not to forget about every other member of the workforce.

2. For maximum effectiveness

Outside the health and safety issue, achieving maximum effectiveness with any custom adhesive product means knowing how it should and should not be used.  When it comes to things like storage, method of application, curing times, compatibility with materials and so on, there will always be certain rules you need to follow to get it right. Get it wrong and a custom adhesive you have procured won’t be able to do its job as well as it might. Which in turn means there may have been no point bothering with it in the first place.  If you choose not to read the instructions, you can’t expect maximum performance.

3. For the longest shelf life

Plus there’s the matter of wastage to take into account. The instructions provided with any adhesive product will tell you exactly how it should and should not be stored. Make no mistake about it – these kinds of guidelines are not supplied simply for the sake of it.  Instead, it’s all about ensuring that your adhesives remain capable and have the highest possible quality for the longest possible time. From unsuitable temperatures to humidity to storage containers and so on, there are various ways and means by which you can shorten the shelf life of a custom adhesive. Which is, suffice to say, never a sensible or economical thing to do.

4. Emergency protocol

Heading back to the health and safety issue for a moment, it’s always a good idea to familiarise yourself with at least the basics in terms of emergency protocol. That being, exactly what you and everyone else around you should and should not do, in the event of an emergency.  These are always the kinds of incidents where far too many people simply assume it’s somebody else’s responsibility to deal with it. Their only contribution being to panic and run around in circles, which does little other than make things worse. Again, all rather tragic, considering it could all be avoided by simply reading the instructions carefully.

5. No excuses!

Last but not least, ensuring that every member of the workforce read the instructions from front to back the means ensuring they have no excuse whatsoever to flout them. Which means that when things go wrong, the responsible parties can be held accountable – rather than simply playing the ‘ignorance is bliss’ card.


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