HMAs vs. HMPSAs: Understand the Difference

Hot melt adhesives (HMAs) and hot melt pressure sensitive adhesives (HMPSAs) are two common types of adhesive technologies for a range of markets and applications. Learn about their distinctions to better understand which one to choose for your needs. 


These adhesives are 100% solid solutions that form a bond as they cool. Generally thermoplastic, HMAs will become soft again when reheated and can be remolded if need be. This allows for manufacturing flexibility when compared to thermosets, which become irreversibly hardened once cured.

HMAs also can be formulated or non-formulated:

  • Formulated: A formulated HMA is comprised of elastomers, tackifiers and other natural or synthetic ingredients to make it tacky. Common elastomers for these adhesives include:
    • Styrenic Block Copolymers
    • Ethylene Vinyl Acetates
    • Amorphous Polyolefins
  • Non-formulated: A non-formulated HMA offers sufficient tack without needing additional modifications or tackifiers. Examples of these include:
    • Polyesters
    • Polyamides
    • Polyurethanes
    • Polyolefins



Like HMAs, HMPSAs are 100% solids and don’t contain any harmful VOCs. However, unlike HMAs, HMPSAs don’t require cooling to form a bond. Instead, they are able to bond under light pressure at room temperature, which saves on energy and equipment costs. Offering high tack, they also have unlimited open time, which means they can bond to another substrate under any time circumstances.

Furthermore, their formulation can be easily modified to meet specific performance requirements.

HMA vs. HMPSA Applications

While both types of adhesives offer diverse application use, HMPSAs are primarily used in manufacturing tapes and labels. They can be for both permanent and removable applications. HMAs, on the other hand, are found in:

  • Automotive assembly
  • Textile lamination
  • Electronics

Bostik formulates smart HMA and HMPSAs designed to improve operational efficiencies and end-use products overall. Safe, fast, efficient and high-performing, find out how these solutions can help your company by visiting www.bostik.com.

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