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The Nature Of Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (Psa)

 
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United States
70 Posts
Posted 05/15/2022   3:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Letterpress to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hi all Modern self-adhesive stamps use "Pressure Sensitive Adhesive" (PSA). I'm stumped by what PSA is, fundamentally, since calling it "pressure sensitive" doesn't differentiate it from any other adhesives from a lay perspective. All adhesives require contact pressure to bond, or at least contact, and I'm not sure how contact can be distinct from "pressure" in this context.

What is it about PSA that makes it different from any other adhesive category? Is it more pressure sensitive than others in some sense? I'm not sure what that would mean, physically, scientifically, or tribologically, so any explanation would be most appreciated.

My readings so far don't help me. Are PSAs a different set of compounds than the epoxies, PVA, polyurethanes, superglue, etc? Why aren't the others considered "pressure sensitive"?

It seems like "self-adhesive" applications always use "pressure sensitive" adhesive, e.g. stamps and envelopes. "Self-adhesive" always takes the form of a peel-off strip. So the adhesive has to selectively bond with most substrates, typically paper, but not with the peel-off strip does this characteristic have any connection to it being a pressure sensitive adhesive?

Thoughts? Does anyone know more about PSA and why it's used in stamps? Could they not use other adhesives and still have peel-off strips? Bonus question: What adhesives are used to manufacture envelopes? I mean in the seams, the pre-sealed parts, not the flap, which is either gum arabic or PSA.
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Edited by Letterpress - 05/15/2022 3:11 pm

Pillar Of The Community
United States
2936 Posts
Posted 05/15/2022   7:39 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Pressure sensitive adhesive and self adhesive are the same thing. They do not require moisture. You are trying to over analyze te words used in naming them.
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Valued Member
United States
70 Posts
Posted 05/16/2022   09:45 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Letterpress to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
But what is it though? How is it different from other adhesives? I think the naming is supposed to be significant, and it's clearly treated as a distinct category, which is strange given that all adhesives should be pressure sensitive.
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United States
7233 Posts
Posted 05/16/2022   11:42 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Self adhesives, or pressure sensitives are sticky materials which are attached to a substrate. Prior to their invention (at 3M Corp., I believe) adhesives were just separate materials, generally glues, which bond things together through drying.

The sticky material of self adhesives is chemically unstable, and as it stabilizes over time it will liquify, then crystallize. It may or may not separate from its substrate, but it will migrate into porous material such as paper (stamps), thus making them worthless.
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