American Panel, Ocala, Fla., knows how important it is to use quality products in their business. So, when they experienced challenges with an adhesive product that caused their refrigerator panels to delaminate, they turned to leading adhesive manufacturer Chemique Adhesives, Kennesaw, Ga.
American Panel has been using Chemique’s Solfre 2 two-component polyurethane adhesive for the past few years to great success.
"Without Solfre 2, we couldn't make our product as good as we'd want it to be,” says Paul Ramsbottom, director of engineering for American Panel. “Our product is consistently better as a result of Solfre 2 because without it, we'd have to reject a high amount of finished walk-in panel product. It helps us maintain a consistent, quality product for our customers.”
American Panel, a family-owned company since 1963, manufactures walk-in refrigerators and freezers for schools, institutions, hospitals and restaurants.
Up until 2010, American Panel used an ineffective water-based adhesive where temperature changes caused the panels to delaminate as they swelled or shrunk. The mixture of hot and cold air on either side of the panel and the mechanical force of opening and closing doors forced the foam insulation to separate from the panels, causing a blistering effect.
Solfre 2 offers an alternative to epoxies, one-part polyurethanes, solvented adhesives and hot melts. In American Panel’s case, Solfre 2 is used to adhere polyurethane foam to wood and metal panels as large as 4x20 feet and even internal components such as cam locks.
One of the advantages of Solfre 2 over other adhesives is that there is no moisture requirement for curing, therefore cure times are not affected by humidity or moisture, according to Chemique Adhesives. In addition, being solvent free, the Solfre2 system overcomes the problem of trapped solvent or moisture pockets and resulting delamination.
“Solfre also promotes faster panel production line speeds and can be cold-pressed, keeping energy costs to a minimum,” says Tony McMullen, president of Chemique Adhesives. “That’s an important feature in today’s business environment.”