Published: Jan 2002
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THE USE OF RADIATION to cure adhesives has been known for over 40 years, and what appears to be the first review of the use of irradiation as a process to make pressure sensitive adhesives appeared in 1977 . The early pressure sensitive adhesives were mainly based on monofunctional alkyl acrylates with four or more carbon atoms in the alkyl chain and vinyl esters . Although this early interest in radiation-cured adhesives existed, it has only been since about 1990 that interest in the technology has grown and become very strong [3-5]. The main driving forces for using this technique to cure adhesives were manufacturing costs and environmental regulations that forced producers to investigate solvent free or very low solvent systems. This was coupled with the need to have final products that did not detract from required performance characteristics.