Emulsion Adhesives

Emulsion (or water-based) acrylics are frequently used in a wide variety of adhesive applications ranging from beverage labels to insulation seaming tapes. These adhesives offer good overall performance with the added benefit of a solvent-free coating process that generally results in lower levels of VOCs and odors in the final product.

What is an Emulsion Adhesive

Emulsion adhesives consist of a mixture of an acrylic polymer, surfactant(s) and other additives, which are used to manage adhesive performance, suspended in water. This dispersion is coated onto a webstock and the water is then dried off. During the drying process, polymers and other components semi-coalesce to form a functional pressure-sensitive adhesive layer.

With water used to control the viscosity and allow for coating, there are no solvents involved in coating process of these adhesives. Since solvent is generally more expensive than water, this typically results in an overall lower cost of coating than traditional solvent adhesives.

Adhesive Performance

Although produced without the use of solvents, these adhesives share similar characteristics with solvent acrylics. With similar performance characteristic levels (peel, tack, shear), these emulsion adhesives also exhibit good resistance to chemicals and heat.

One of the primary advantages of using an emulsion adhesive is the low VOC performance. Without any residual solvents from the coating process, there are fewer organic components in the final adhesive to off-gas, resulting in lower levels of VOCs and odor coming from the adhesive.

Advanced Adhesive Formulation

Avery Dennison Performance Polymers specializes in utilizing both chemistry and physics to optimize the design and development of emulsion adhesives. By using our experts in both polymer chemistry and coating engineering, the Performance Polymers team is able to create adhesives specially designed to offer outstanding high speed coating, drying efficiency and adhesive performance.

In addition to standard adhesives, the challenging nature of emulsion adhesives applications often requires specifically formulated, customized adhesive solutions. Working closely with our customers, our scientists and engineers can quickly adjust existing adhesive platforms or develop new polymer systems to address the most complex challenges.


At Avery Dennison Performance Polymers, our technical service and R&D teams bring together extensive Materials Science knowledge and polymer design and formulation. We combine our coating and converting know-how with a deep understanding of end-user applications. And, our team has the capability to quickly tailor and customize adhesives to provide the right solution to your unique application-driven challenges.

For more information about our pressure-sensitive adhesives for home and personal care label applications, visit the product selector or contact our adhesive experts today.