What is ...PUR Binding?
Brochures, paperback books, hardcover books and magazines with a sqaureback and a thickness greater than around 5mm will be bound using either glue (perfect bound) or thread and glue (section sewn). In the early 1990's a new development in adhesive technology changed the strength and therefore the reputation of perfect binding forever.
Section sewn binding has been around since books were first produced - using different types of glue as times changed. Section sewn binding is still regarded as the best and strongest as it relies on both thread and glue. Perfect Binding (glue only) has always been regarded as weaker and less durable (...remember all those magazines and paperbacks where pages have fallen out?)
In the early 1990's, a new type of adhesive was developed. This adhesive is called Polyurethane Reactive Hotmelt and is known as PUR. As the name hotmelt suggests, the glue is heated and applied hot. This new adhesive involves a chemical reaction between the glue and moisture in the atmosphere and paper to give a much greater strength and flexibility than using normal glue. The finished bound books reach their optimum strength 24 hours after binding.
There was a bindery close to us called Tonbridge Trade Binders (TTB) which was the first bindery in the UK to install the tanks to handle PUR glue on their binding line, this was around 1995. Unfortunately TTB closed down about ten years ago but many trade binders now have PUR systems.