The drying and curing times of our adhesives

Misunderstandings often arise from the misusage of "drying" and "curing" in adhesives. After application, adhesives undergo both drying and curing processes. The time required depends on the substrate, adhesive type, and various environmental factors. Typically, shorter drying and curing times are preferred, leading to the development of techniques for accelerating these processes. Let's explore the importance of understanding these distinctions and ways to enhance adhesive performance.

Chris Belterman
Author Chris Belterman Sustainability Specialist
What is the difference between drying and curing?

We regularly see the terms ‘drying’ and ‘curing’ used interchangeably. Although we understand their meanings, the two terms are different, especially from a chemical point of view.   


In simple terms, drying is the loss of all liquid components from the applied adhesive layer. This not only means the evaporation of the carrier (the water or solvent added to make the adhesive liquid), but also the liquid absorbed by the foam. This physical process is also known as ‘bonding’. 


Curing is a chemical process in which the adhesive fully crystallizes. It then attains its final properties and builds up its final strength. The characteristics of the adhesive also change through this process, literally forming ‘a strong bond’. SABA’s adhesives acquire strength through coagulation (flocculation) or evaporation.

Why are drying and curing times important?

Understanding the drying and curing times of adhesives is of utmost importance to avoid potential problems in the production process. When excess water remains in a mattress at the time of packing, it significantly increases the risk of mold formation due to potential condensation inside the packaging. Mold not only creates unpleasant odors but also results in an unhygienic end-product, which can be detrimental to a company's reputation. Therefore, it is essential for producers to be well-informed about the drying and curing times before proceeding with the packaging stage. By staying vigilant about drying and curing times, manufacturers can uphold the quality of their products and meet customer expectations more effectively.

Influencing drying and curing times

To determine the optimal drying and curing times, it is crucial to consider all the factors that can influence these processes.

Ambient temperature

An adhesive will dry when the water and other liquid components it contains evaporate. Higher temperatures will accelerate this process. A higher ambient temperature therefore will shorten the drying time. The drying time will be longer in a cold space. It is therefore important to take the heating and air conditioning systems in the production hall into account. A forced drying step added to the production process often makes use of heat, such as the SABA Produce & Pack concept.

Relative humidity

The relative humidity in an area plays a very large role in drying and curing adhesives. The higher the relative humidity the longer it takes to dry the adhesive as the water and other liquids do not have the opportunity to evaporate. In countries with very high humidity a longer drying time must therefore be provided for. 

Composition of the adhesive

An adhesive with a high concentration of solids contains less water and therefore bonds faster than an adhesive with a low concentration of solids. Adhesives with a high concentration of solids also perform differently in comparison to adhesives with a low concentration of solids. The former have a higher initial tack and bond faster than adhesives with a low concentration of solids.

The substrate

When the substrate to be bonded is open celled, the carrier has a greater chance of evaporating in comparison to a more closed substrate consisting of hard material. When SABA adhesives are applied to hard materials they will need a longer drying time.

Thickness of the adhesive layer

The thicker the adhesive layer is applied, the more water and liquids will need to evaporate. This therefore extends drying and curing times. SABA is happy to help you optimize your process. We offer support to operators to prevent excessive application and to subsequently also optimize the drying and curing times. Together we ensure sufficient adhesive is applied to achieve a quality product, without using too much adhesive and prolonging the drying process. You can contact us without obligation for more information and custom advice.

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Accelerating drying and curing times

To avoid warehouses filling up with drying mattresses, shorter drying and curing times are preferred. This is especially crucial when mattresses need immediate packing and shipping. To expedite these processes, various techniques have been developed, with forced drying being commonly used in the mattress industry. Forced drying is a technology that is commonly used in the mattress world. SABA Produce & Pack is an example of this. Thanks to our unique water-based rollable adhesive and integration of a forced drying step in the production process, no drying time is necessary. As a result mattresses are quickly ready for delivery! This technology is far less often used for spray applications and natural drying, also referred to as air drying, more often is the rule here.

Average drying and curing times of our adhesives

Considering the various factors affecting adhesive drying and curing times, determining average values becomes challenging. Yet, we've devised a specialized tool to account for multiple influences and calculate customized drying and curing times. Feel free to contact us for obligation-free assistance in optimizing your process with precise timings. Let our tools work for you!

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Please contact SABA for more information:
+1 810 824 4964 or

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