> H.B. Fuller
From dinosaur bones to paper straws
From dinosaur bones to paper straws
From dinosaur bones to paper straws, H.B. Fuller perfects adhesives, sealants, and other specialty chemical products to improve products and lives.
Since 1887, H.B. Fuller’s commitment to innovation has brought together people, products, and processes that answer and solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. The company’s reliable, responsive service creates lasting, rewarding connections with customers in electronics, disposable hygiene, health and beauty, transportation, aerospace, clean energy, packaging, construction, woodworking, general industries, and other consumer businesses.
Headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota, H.B. Fuller has technology centers around the world directed by over 500 field and lab-based technical experts, who drive their culture of innovation. H.B. Fuller also has more than 70 manufacturing factories, which produce thousands of different adhesives that are sold to customers in more than 125 countries across the world.
Examples of H.B. Fuller innovation on display:
As the home of one of only four real Triceratops on display in the world and the largest complete specimen on display, the Science Museum of Minnesota needed expertise when it came to hairline cracks developing in the fossilized bone of the four-ton skeleton.
The Curator of Paleontology at the museum set out to find a solution to seal the cracks, knowing that certain minerals in the fossilized bone would crystallize when exposed to the air and could eventually force the fragments apart. He solicited the help of H.B. Fuller scientists to recommend an adhesive that would fill the cracks and prevent crystal formation.
H.B. Fuller’s scientists knew that the highly porous nature of the bone and plaster meant that the most acceptable system would be a 100% solid epoxy that would not shrink or expand with aging or temperature variation. After testing many formulas in the lab, it was decided that FE 6084, a low viscosity epoxy with good flow properties, would allow sufficient open time to remain fluid during the slow, precise application. The most difficult task was to devise a method of injecting the adhesive into each of the delicate cracks. Scientists decided on a hypodermic needle, and spent long hours at the museum painstakingly applying the adhesive into the gaps.
Today, the museum’s horned reptile remains the best and most complete reconstruction of this ancient plant-eater. Had it not been for H.B. Fuller scientists, the Triceratops, which roamed North America about 70 million years ago, might have been lost forever.
Single-use plastic products have become a major focus of environmental conservation efforts as concerns have grown about the accumulation of plastic waste around the world. In 2018, plastic straws drew attention as a contributor to unsustainable levels of waste. Despite pledges to phase out usage and customers’ work to reduce reliance on single-use plastics, there is still a demand for straws.
Paper straws quickly emerged as an alternative. To be a competitive alternative, paper straws need to be strong, food-safe, water resistant,hygienic, and biodegradable. At the same time, to enable wide scale adoption, they must also be competitively priced. H.B. Fuller’s adhesives can make sustainable alternatives, like paper straws, a reality—today. Their expertise means that employees can collaborate with customers to choose the right adhesive to efficiently manufacture paper straws. Straws are just one example of everyday products being reexamined and replaced by more sustainable alternatives.
As consumers increasingly demand more environmentally responsible products, new adhesives can help manufacturers minimize resource use and enable downstream recycling or reuse. H.B. Fuller adhesives have helped produce more energy-efficient windows, offer light weighting solutions for motor vehicles, and reduce the amount of material used in electronics. The company is proud to play a role in bringing sustainable alternatives to market.
At any given time, dozens of projects are advancing through the various phases of H.B. Fuller’s innovation pipeline. Annually, the company introduces more than 100 new products and currently has more than 600 patents (granted and pending).
H.B. Fuller extends its internal commitment outward by helping to inspire and develop future innovators through its STEM and leadership development programs for youth, providing more than $1.3 million annually through the H.B. Fuller Company Foundation.
Innovation is the lifeblood of H.B. Fuller. Through innovation, H.B. Fuller provides better, more affordable products that answer some of today’s toughest consumer demands—all while serving their manufacturing customers better than anybody else in the industry.
“Our customers are innovating, and we must innovate with them. As we partner together, we develop solutions to meet their evolving needs, and enable innovation for every manufacturer of goods in the world.”
—Ted Clark, COO