Perfect binding is one of the most commonly used binding
methods. It is used for many types of publications including magazines, catalogs, paperback
books, and telephone directories. Pages for a perfect bound publication are
gathered, stacked, and placed in special equipment where the binding edge is covered
with glue. A cover is then attached to the book to complete the process. Perfect binding
is most successful when the paper grain runs parallel with the spine of the
book. Magazines and books may have the title and other information printed on
the flat spine of the cover.
Perfect binding is one of the most automated of the binding
methods, which makes it inexpensive and is a major reason for its popularity.
It can be divided into three main categories: hot adhesive, cold adhesive, and
Hot Adhesive Perfect Binding
Hot glue is the most widely used of the perfect binding adhesives. Books
are usually 1/4" up to 2 1/4" thick depending on the thickness of the substrate.
A major disadvantage with hot adhesive is that the book cannot lie flat when
it is open. The binding will break if too much pressure is applied in attempting to make the book lie flat when it is open.
Cold Adhesive Perfect Binding
Cold glue is not used as often as hot glue because it is more expensive and
requires more time to cure than hot glue, but it is stronger and more flexible. When
the cold adhesive is used in conjunction with a scored and hinged cover, the
book is able to lie flat when it is open without cracking the binding. Books with
perfect bindings made with cold adhesive range in thickness from 1/8" to 2 1/4".
Thermal binding is similar to the hot adhesive method of perfect binding
in that adhesive and heat are used to form the binding, but instead of hot
glue, an adhesive strip is used. Pages are fed into a machine where an adhesive
strip attached to a wrap around cover is applied to the binding edge of the
pages. Heat is applied so that the adhesive strip and cover are adhered to
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