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Perfect Binding: Always Select PUR Adhesive when You Have the Choice!

PUR adhesive uses a molecular bond to secure the book's cover and pages, which results in a stronger and more flexible spine.

Perfect bound books, especially manuals, catalogs, and directories, are used by a wide variety of businesses and organizations. Authors also use the perfect binding method for both fiction and non-fiction titles. Because of such widespread popularity, perfect bound books are commonly distributed by the hundreds or thousands.

Once the books are in the possession of customers or other parties, the business or author no longer has control over the handling of the book. The pages might be tugged forcefully, the spine could be flexed excessively, the books may be subject to extreme heat or cold.

Even though there is no way to control how the books will be handled once they have been distributed, the choice of binding adhesive is something that can be controlled.

Basically, you'll have the choice between Polyurethane Reactive adhesive (PUR) or Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA). EVA is a good general purpose adhesive but is unable to bond properly to certain paper stocks and ink applications…plus it may fail when subject to rough handling or extreme temperatures. On the other hand, PUR uses a molecular bond to secure the cover and pages, which results in a stronger and more flexible spine.

Simply put, PUR is the most durable binding adhesive available and works well for ALL perfect bound book projects…regardless of usage, paper stock, or ink type. If quality and durability are important to you, always select PUR binding. It will ensure you are protected against the following problems…

  • Pages Coming Loose - Despite tugging or other rough handling, the pages of PUR bound books remain securely fastened at the spine. In fact, it is nearly impossible to pull a page out of a book made with PUR adhesive. Also, unlike EVA, PUR adheres extremely well to pages that have a smooth, glossy finish. This means the pages of your book can be finished with a gloss coating - such as a varnish, aqueous or UV coating. You can also use pages that have a protective film applied - such as a laminate or mylar.
  • Cracked Spines - Because PUR adhesive creates an incredibly strong bond yet remains very pliable, books bound with PUR are able to withstand the rigors of repeated opening and closing. Also, the flexibility of PUR adhesive prevents the spine from cracking when the book is opened wide or pressed down flat.
  • Issues with Temperature Extremes - Books bound with PUR adhesive can be transported virtually anywhere without worry. Whether the books will be used in temperatures as low as -40° F or as high as 200° F, the PUR binding will remain strong, flexible and intact. No more fractured spines from the bitter cold or pages coming loose in the intense heat.

Avoiding the Frantic Phone Call

We have fielded many frantic calls from people who had used a book supplier that didn't have PUR capabilities…and regretted it. The most common complaints were about pages falling out, which was both embarrassing and costly to the callers…since they now needed to replace the books. Fortunately, Formax offers PUR binding and was able to gain these frenzied callers as new customers.

If you too have experienced problems with EVA bound books, or want to protect yourself against the problems that might arise from using EVA adhesive, give Formax a call at 866-367-6221. Or, if you already know your specs and would like a quote, click here to access our easy quote request form.

By the way, even though PUR is the superior binding choice, Formax offers it at no additional charge. As always, we look forward to assisting with your book project!

Take care! Keith

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing, plus mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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