How Liquid Borax Can Improve Starch Applications

Borax has been known in civilizations for thousands of years, having first been discovered in Tibet in its dry lake beds. It occurs naturally in deposits produced by seasonal lakes as their waters evaporate and then replenish over the seasons. Turkey, Chile, Bolivia, and California are where the deposits of borax that are the most commercially important are found.

Properties of Starch

Starch is a natural product made of polymers and is found in almost every plant. Today, the principal sources of most commercial starches are corn, wheat, tapioca, and potato. Adhesives that are made from starch are significantly improved by borate additives, such as liquid Borax, which can increase viscosity and increase the speed of attachment. At RapidBond, our latest liquid borax product is a safer and more effective alternative that can modify the physical properties of starch.

Modifying the Starch Molecule

The starch polymer has a chemical makeup that makes it a good adhesive, but for many industrial applications, its viscosity is too low and the attachment process is too slow.

When an aqueous solution of caustic soda plus a borate compound treats the starch, there are extensive chemicals changes to the starch molecule, resulting in very advantageous modifications of the physical properties of starch. The molecule is more complex with an increase in the branching of the polymer chain and is heavier in weight so that the tack, viscosity, and fluid properties of the starch adhesive molecule are improved.

Advantages of Liquid Borax Additives

Higher viscosity helps with the retention of water so that the surface of the substrate being glued remains dry. This higher viscosity is also critical to the ability to process the adhesive on manufacturing equipment at the needed flow rates.

In addition, borax enhances the initial film formation of an adhesive. A major use of adhesives based on starch is in the manufacture of corrugated board.

At RapidBond, we provide full turn-key solutions and all supplies and equipment required to produce and distribute starch adhesive in a corrugated plant and are one of the few providers of liquid borax in the United States.