Percent Non-Volatiles

We see this phrase on technical data sheets and MSDS’s, but what does it mean?  Is it the dreaded Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)?  No, it is just an awkward way of saying percent solids.  Then why call it non-volatiles instead of solids?  Some of the ingredients of water borne adhesives are liquids that do not evaporate (volatilize.)  These components include plasticizers, humectants, defoamers and wetting agents among other things.  They become incorporated into the truly solid material in the adhesive and do not appear to be liquid when the glue has dried.  So, some of the “solids” are actually liquids that do not evaporate.  Calling the dried glue residue “solids” may not be completely accurate, but it sure would be less confusing!

So what are the volatiles?  Usually it is just water, but in some cases it may include solvents or other compounds.  That information may be found elsewhere in the data sheet.

This glue news was spotted at Welcome to Words of the Wise
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