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Football helmet with an H.B. Fuller logo and football on a field.

Uncovering Adhesives at a Football Game

Posted 11/17/2017 by Abe Rezai, Vice President, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer

As a member of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, we began the year investigating all of the places where adhesives support American football.


Check it out!


1. Uniforms. It wasn’t until the early 1950s that the NFL formalized a system of assigning jersey numbers, and today, those jerseys are held together by adhesives, such as H.B. Fuller’s HL9639 and 2U222 reactive hot melt technology, that provides breathable technology, soft feel, and excellent wash resistance.


2. Showers. Following the 60-minute gridiron match, the players definitely need to get cleaned up, and adhesives are used to adhere the tile to the walls and the floor in the showers. H.B. Fuller Construction Products’ TEC™ brand mortars, including Full Flex®, Sturdi Flex™, Super Flex™, 3N1® Performance and Ultimate Large Tile, offer a range of applications to suit the needs of various stadium designs.


3. Concessions. “Peanuts! Get your bag of peanuts!” Each snack, like a bag of peanuts, is individually packaged and ready for resale in the stands. H.B. Fuller’s Flexible Packaging laminating adhesives, such as the water-based acrylic PN3759ZX, hybrid PWF1510, solvent-free WD4120/XR1500, and solvent-based SB7250/XAS2283, provide multiple application options to package game day snacks.


4. Helmet Decals. It was the Rams who first featured a decal on their football helmets in 1946. Since then, professional teams have used helmet decals featuring numbers, mascots, and icons. The adhesive used to adhere the decal is a high-shear, high-strength, pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA), such as H.B. Fuller’s HL2081 or 82674. PSAs bond the adhesive to the helmet when pressure is applied.


5. Light Rail Systems. “Next stop — U.S. Bank Stadium station!” Many game-goers opt to take the light rail system in metro areas with large stadiums to avoid traffic and difficulty parking. There are many areas of the light rail where adhesives are used, including to seal chassis welds (using modified silicone polymers, such as STP 1921) and bonding and sealing glass (using polyurethane sealants, such as 1956 and 1965).


6. Bottled Water. “Ice cold water!” Staying hydrated is important no matter where you are, and stadiums are well-stocked with bottled water at the concession areas. And across a wide range of weather and storage conditions, bottled water manufacturers want to keep their brands front and center. Bottled water label wraps are simple polypropylene to polypropylene laminations, made possible by adhesives, including water-based and solvent-free.


7. Jumbotron. One part of the spectator experience is watching the big screen, and there are three kinds of electronic adhesive classes used in its assembly: enclosure bonding adhesives (enabling final assembly without exposing sensitive electronic devices to unacceptable elevated cure temperatures), display adhesives (allowing for bonding on display panels without limiting display loss), and board level assembly adhesives (used for component bonding and protection of functional electronic components applied to the circuit board).


8. Stadium. Approximately 14,957 cubic yards of concrete were used in the construction of US Bank stadium in Minneapolis. H.B. Fuller Construction Products’ concrete repair and restoration products, such as BlendCrete™, RubCrete and Vinyl Concrete Patch, both improve the cosmetic appearance of the concrete structure and help repair any structural failures. Furthermore, the average professional football stadium capacity is between 60,000 and 90,000 people, and adhesives are used in padded stadium seats by adhering foam to the plywood base, foam to foam, and foam to fiber.


9. Pom Poms. The cheerleaders lead the crowd in chants, hoping to distract the opposing team and generate enthusiasm from game-goers. They wave their pom poms, which are comprised of strips of two or more layers of fibrous material, bonded with flexible packaging laminating adhesive and mechanically fastened to the handle.


10. Locker Rooms. Modern player lockers are usually constructed from metal, stone and wood veneer. Water-based adhesives work best for sheet and veneer applications, such as H.B. Fuller’s RAKOLL® and swift®tak solutions, which do not contain any added formaldehyde and make a strong, water-resistant bond.


Get into the game! Listen to our CEO Jim Owens talk about our Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee sponsorship.


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