Wood Adhesives   |   Pressure Sensitive Adhesives   |   Specialty Polymers

What is the maximum open time of a PVA glue? 

The film of adhesive should be liquid at the time pressure is applied. This should be easily visible by a small, but continuous bead of adhesive along the edge of the glue line. In-plant conditions such as temperature, humidity, moisture content and air movement will have a big effect on the open time. In many cases, simply applying a heavier film of adhesive will be sufficient. 

The speed of set of a given adhesive will also have an effect on the open time. In general, the lower the speed of set value (see data sheet), the longer the open time. 

What does the catalyst do for my two-part Multibond and Advantage series products? It doesn't seem to be doing anything. 

The catalyst is not a hardener like in an epoxy. The catalyst reacts with the resin to form a highly water-resistant glue line. Usually, the maximum water resistance occurs when 5% catalyst, by volume, is added to the resin. The quantity of catalyst can be reduced to about 2.5% by volume to reduce burning in a radio frequency press. A reduction in catalyst will reduce water resistance. Testing production parts for water resistance is recommended.

Someone forgot to add catalyst, but my joints are strong. Will I have problems later on? 

The catalyst is not needed to make strong joints, but the bonds will never be water resistant. 

How much water resistance do Franklin products have? 

Our Titebond adhesives and assembly glues are designed for interior use only. Most of the Multibond adhesives are Type II products, meaning that they are suitable for damp or occasionally wet areas such as kitchen and bathroom cabinets and cutting boards. Advantage and ReacTITE products are suitable for exterior use. None of our products are designed for use "below the water line." For further information, refer to our product data sheets. 

How do I eliminate joint failures? 

Determine when and how the joints are failing. Look for changes in materials, plant conditions, people, etc. Verify that machinery is working properly. 

What is the recommended troubleshooting process? 

If possible, have examples of the failure with you when you call our technical support team at 1.800.877.4583. The lot number of the adhesive involved is helpful information. Your Franklin representative was thoroughly trained in troubleshooting before being allowed to sell and is also very familiar with your plant. 

Can I send in failed joints to Franklin for testing? 

Sure, but keep in mind that most problems can be solved from information on the website, a call or an e-mail. If you do send in materials, please include your name, company, phone number and a description of the problem. In-lab testing can take two to three weeks. 

I would like to return the glue because I think it is defective. 

Contact our customer service department for instructions. They will guide you through the proper procedures. Do not return any adhesive without a return authorization. 

Customer Service

Can I buy directly from Franklin? 

If you manufacture furniture, millwork, or engineered laminations (or component parts for these industries), please e-mail us or call 1.800.487.4583. If you are a home woodworker, or would like to buy from an outlet close to your home, our construction products division will be happy to assist you at www.Titebond.com. 

What is the shelf life of Franklin products? 

We recommend that most of our products be used within six months of manufacture. A few of our products have a different shelf life. Check our online product information, or contact us about a particular product. 

How does one determine when the adhesive was made? 

The lot number is date coded. The first digit represents the last digit of the year: 9 for 1999, 0 for 2000, etc. This number is followed immediately by a letter: A for January, B for February, etc. The letter I is not used; H stands for August, and J, for September. 

I have some material that is a couple of months past its shelf life. Can I still use it? 

In most cases, yes. We recommend that the adhesive be thoroughly stirred before use. Look for unusual properties such as a change in consistency. If the material still looks “normal,” glue up a few test pieces and test for joint strength following an overnight cure. Keep in mind that Franklin’s warranty does not cover aged material. 

My glue arrived frozen. Can I use it? 

Many of our products may be damaged by freezing and are clearly marked "protect from freezing" on the container. If you suspect damage, contact the shipper immediately and then contact customer service. 

How can I tell if the glue has been damaged? 

Open the container and stir the contents. If the glue has been damaged, the viscosity will be higher than normal, the glue might contain lumps similar to cottage cheese, or the wet glue might have a grainy feel to it. If it still looks normal, try gluing a few joints and allow them to cure overnight and test. If you are getting good bonds, the glue is working properly. Contact customer service with any additional questions. 


What vapors might I be exposed to when working with wood glues? 

The types of vapors that those working with wood glues can be exposed to will vary with the type of glue used and the method of application. Most wood glues are water-based products and present a very low health and safety risk. A large majority of wood glues involve the use of polyvinyl acetate (PVA). Vinyl acetate, in its pure form, is considered by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to be a suspected human carcinogen. However, once it is formed into a polymer during the manufacturing of the adhesive, the vinyl acetate is virtually unavailable for exposure. The only potential for vapor exposure to vinyl acetate would come from any traceable amounts of residual vinyl acetate after polymerization. Monitoring conducted by Franklin to date has shown only non-detectable levels of vinyl acetate when working with wood glues. 

What kind of exposure limits has OSHA set for wood glues? 

The U. S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set exposure limits for several chemical compounds. There are no general exposure limits for wood glues. However, some of the trace constituents of wood glues do have eight-hour, time-weighted average (TWA) exposure limits, known as the PEL.

What is a PEL? What is a TLV?

PEL is a common abbreviation for Permissible Exposure Limit. It is set by the U. S. Occupational Heath and Safety Administration (OSHA) for individual chemical compounds and carries the weight of the agency's regulatory control. All employers must assure that their employees are not exposed to levels above those listed as the PEL for a given substance.

TLV is the abbreviation for Threshold Limit Value and is set by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienist. It is a private consensus organization made up of practicing professionals in the health and safety field. The organization also sets exposure limits for employee exposure to listed compounds, but, unlike OSHA, has no regulatory enforcement capabilities. It does, however, meet frequently to review and adjust the exposure limits as new scientific data becomes available.

How do I handle spills of wood glues?

Since most wood glues are considered by OSHA and the EPA to be non-hazardous substances, small spills of an adhesive usually do not present a problem. They can be easily absorbed and cleaned up for proper disposal. Larger spills are also considered to be fairly non-hazardous. However, large amounts of any chemical-containing product could present clean up and disposal issues, depending upon the local regulatory codes. Because local codes have become stricter and can vary from community to community, it is recommended that caution be taken to not allow spilled wood glues to go into drains, storm sewers or flow onto land areas. Every employer should become familiar with the state, local and federal codes.

What about disposal of wood glues? Can I wash them down the drain?

It is not advisable to wash wood glues into the sanitary sewers or storm sewers until all local, state and federal codes have been reviewed. Many local wastewater treatment facilities today have strict limits on what they will accept. Washing waste glue down the drain without checking with the proper authorities or a reputable environmental consulting firm could be a costly error. Filtering systems can be put into drains and piping systems if secondary collection of waste glue is not practical.

Disposal of solid glue particles and cured adhesive can frequently be coordinated with local landfills. Since the glue in itself is usually not considered to be a hazardous waste, many landfills will take the solid portions of the glue. Solidifying a water-based adhesive can be done in a couple of ways. One is to allow the water portion (40-50%) to evaporate off and the solids to be collected. Another way is to add an inert absorbent material such as wood dust, or clay to the wet product, and allow the water to be absorbed until the mixture forms into a solid state. As with any disposal situation, Franklin advises that all applicable local, state and federal codes be reviewed before disposal to a landfill is initiated.

What are the decomposition products of wood glues?

Frequently, people will ask about the decomposition of wood glues. This information is sometimes necessary for fire personnel or insurance agents. Critical factors in determining the decomposition of any compound are temperature and available oxygen supply. It should also be noted that cured glue will decompose differently than glue in the wet-state because of the available amount of water in a liquid adhesive. The water will first convert to steam before the polymer will be affected with glue in the wet state. In the dried state, the glue will decompose to the polymer and its constituents. Studies have shown that basic PVA wood glues can decompose at temperatures as low as 215 degrees Fahrenheit to produce quantitative yields of acetic acid, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. The higher the temperature, the more likely the acetic acid is to convert to CO and CO2 and trace amounts of the polymer chain. Temperatures above 350 degrees Fahrenheit can result in the complete combustion of the polymer.

What other information resources are available?

Franklin International urges its customers to review their manufacturing processes and the applications of adhesive products from the standpoint of environmental health and safety. We want to ensure that Franklin products are used in ways for which they were intended and do not harm workers or the environment. To help ensure this, we will help our customers in any way possible through a trained and knowledgeable sales force, product safety literature and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). Additional safety and handling information can be obtained by contacting Franklin's customer service and technical support groups as well as our product safety specialist at 1.614.443.0241.

faq experts

FAQs are designed to provide a quick reference to the most commonly asked questions about our products, applications and regulatory issues.


If you need further assistance, please contact technical support. For a definition of unfamiliar terms, please refer to our glossary.


Click here to download information about ASTM Standards.