Two basic methods are used to secure the leaves in adhesive binding: 1) application of the adhesive to the edges of the collected and clamped leaves, without fanning, in which case there is little if any penetration of adhesive between the sheets; and 2) fanning the clamped leaves, either in one direction or both (in the latter case 180°), so that the adhesive is applied a slight distance onto the leaves, thus forming a more secure bond. A HOT-MELT ADHESIVE is usually employed in the first method, whereas a cold RESINOUS ADHESIVE , e.g., POLYVINYL ACETATE , is typical in the latter method. It is not unusual, however, to use a combination of the two adhesives. The resinous adhesives are generally used alone, but hot melts may be used in either a one-shot operation (hot melt alone), or in a two-shot application (a primer of polyvinyl adhesive, followed by the hot melt, in which case the leaves are usually fanned upon application of the cold adhesive).
Adhesive binding generally results in a book that opens easily and lies flat. It is also a relatively economical form of binding, especially when long runs of the same edition are being bound. The method lends itself well to the mass production of low-priced paperbacks, catalogs, telephone directories, and the like. It is also finding greater use in library binding for books that are not in sections and have relatively narrow margins, as well as for rebinding books printed on paper that is deteriorating. Adhesive binding, however, is not a satisfactory method of binding coated and similar papers.
Adhesive binding, in one form or another, is not a new concept; in fact, it dates back to the 1830s when William Hancock invented the so-called CAOUTCHOUC BINDING in England. Overall, however, even though the method is very practical for books that are to receive heavy use over a relatively short period, (e.g., telephone directories), adhesive binding is generally considered to be inferior to the sewn binding and its permanence has yet to be demonstrated. Also called "perfect binding." or "unsewn binding. See also: ADHESIVE BINDING MACHINE ;ONE-SHOT METHOD ;TWO-SHOT METHOD .
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