Adhesive applicator at Pepperell Mill, Biddeford, 2009


The adhesive application was the first process on the range used to manufacture the Vellux blanket.

Initially the adhesive was applied by spraying, which created a stiffness to the blanket, even using the thinnest layer possible. After months of research, Research and Development staff (R&D) found the way to alleviate the stiffness was to apply the adhesive with a roller with engraved 35-degree diagonal lines. Under strong magnification, the adhesive was applied in lines with void in between, but to the naked eye it looked like a complete colored surface, the void lines created little hinge points which gave the blanket flexibility.

The applicator was 130-inches wide and had three major components: blade holder with blade, print roll (12-inch steel roll engraved with 35-degree diagonal lines with chrome plating) and nip roll (12-inch steel roll coated with ¼-inch rubber and a teflon sleeve to prevent the adhesive from sticking).

The blade holder sat at a 60-degree angle against the print roll and created a trough for the print roll adhesive; the blade at the bottom scraped the excess adhesive off the print roll, leaving only the adhesive in the engraved groves.

The foam substrate was threaded under the print roll which turned counter clock wise over the nip roll that turned clock wise. When the range started, air pistons would push the nip roll and the substrate against the print roll, causing a suction affect that pulled the adhesive out of the engraved lines in the print roll onto the substrate that retained the flock on the blanket after curing.

Please post your comment below to share with others. If you'd like to privately share a comment or correction with MMN staff, please use this form.