Considering the wide range of sealants available for every end use applications, sometimes selection of the right sealant applicator can be a daunting task. But with our step-by-step guide on a few important selection criteria for caulking guns you cannot go wrong. Read on to learn all about selecting sealant dispensers.
Adaptability to the packaging type:
Adhesive and sealants are formulated in either one component or dual component (Pat A-Resin, Part-B Activator) format. While one component sealants cure by moisture, dual component adhesives and sealants cure by mixing of Part A and Part B. This is the most basic and obvious selection criterion. Choose “One Component Caulking Gun” for “One Component Sealant” and “Dual Cartridge Dispenser” for “Two Component Adhesives”
Adaptability to the Length of Cartridge:
Sealants are generally packaged in 300ml and 400ml one component plastic or metal cartridges or 600ml aluminium foils sausage. Select the applicator gun according to the length of the barrel to fit the packaging size of the sealant. It is important to note that some hand-held sealant dispensers are manufactured to accommodate both 300ml and 400ml cartridges. Combi dispensers are manufactured to accommodate both Cartridges and Sausages. So if you use both cartridge and foil packed sealant in your facility it is generally a good idea to use a Combi gun.
Viscosity: Viscosity of the sealant is an important criterion for selection of right sealant gun. If viscosity of the sealant is not known, look for the extrusion rate. Higher its extrusion rate, lower is the viscosity. Ideally for a high viscous product you need a sealant dispenser having higher thrust value and vice versa. For all our Mixpac and Cox dispensers thrust values are declared in the specification.
Nozzle Type and Opening: Thin nozzles with small openings create backpressure in the sealant making it more difficult to extrude the product and needing extra force and vice versa. Choose a caulking gun with high thrust for thin nozzle. For an increased nozzle size and opening sealant guns of lower thrust values can be chosen.
Design and Weight: For large projects and continuous use, it is important to consider dispenser that are ergonomically designed and light weight. This creates less effort on part of the operator and improves the sealant finish without lumps and bulges in the bead formation. Selection between a manual dispenser or powered gun can also be made based on power source availability, cost and carbon foot print criterions. Read our blog on the comparison between different types of caulking guns.
Anti-Drip: It is always a good idea to go for a dispenser that has anti-drip feature. Most of our manual dispensers come with PRD (Pressure Release Device) that permits a small backward movement of the plunger while releasing the trigger. This releases the pressure built up in the cartridge and sealant oozing stops instantly saving material and eliminating messy clean up.
Plunger Type: It is always a good idea to choose a smooth rod plunger over a ratcheting plunger. Smooth plungers allow more control and make smoother beads of caulk. Ratchet type guns with notched plungers usually have very low thrust to push the caulk out and can leave hands sore after even a small job. Ratcheted plungers are OK for a small one time job or DIY applications but not for professional use.
Reliability: For high end professional jobs or onsite project work it is important to choose a high end dispenser that are reliable and undergo heavy duty work load. High thrust ratio, powered dispensers, ergonomics are some of the factors that will improve the reliability of a dispenser.