This investigation has examined the adhesive binding of paper, with particular attention to the action of the fiber/adhesive interface. The efforts of this research were concentrated on relating properties of the paper to strength of the resultant binding. To simulate the problems of economical binding styles, uncoated groundwood paper and hot melt adhesives were studied. Although the hypotheses assumed that a strong interfiber bond within the sheets would lead to a strong binding, it was found that the most critical factor was not the strength of the sheet, but the availability of the fibers to the adhesive. The strength of the sheet was measured by several tests. These tests were: tensile strength, internal bond, tear resistance, and pick resistance. None of these measures of paper strength correlated with binding strength. Other factors, specifically caliper, absorbency, and low pick resistance proved to be the significant factors leading to a strong binding. The general conclusion is that the greater the surface area of the fibers exposed to the glue, the greater the adhesive bond. Greater caliper, absorbency, and low pick resistance lead to increased exposure of fibers and therefore to a stronger binding for newsprint -grade papers. Previous studies with both coated and uncoated papers had indicated that roughness is the most important paper quality for a good binding with hot melt adhesives. This study finds that roughness is not a significant factor, and the thickness and low pick resistance are the most significant factors leading to a good binding with uncoated groundwoods. Acidity was tested for effects on binding strength. Even with accelerated aging, no evidence was found that the acidity of the sheet affects the strength of the adhesive binding. Binding strength was measured by page pull and flex tests. Both can be valuable tests, and in this case correlated well with each other.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Paper; Bookbinding; Adhesives, Hot melt

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Print Media (CIAS)


Rebsamen, Werner

Advisor/Committee Member

Brown, Joseph


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