High-tech hot air edgebanding was shown last year at international woodworking shows, including the AWFS Fair in Las Vegas. If you have followed the storyline of laser edgebanders – a regular edgebanding machine that uses a laser to weld pre-glued edgeband material to panels – hot air edgebanding is the next chapter in the quest for quality and productivity.

A big problem with conventional edgeband is the visible glue joint, which collects dirt, and since it is open, allows the glue underneath to reactivate and loosen. Hot air edgebanders, which use the same specialized edgeband as laser edgebanders, avoid that. Hot air edgeband withstands exposure to heat, steam and moisture better than conventional edgeband – though laser edgeband performs even better.

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Stiles compared these two “zero glue line” edgebanding approaches side by side, demonstrating Rehau banding on Brandt and Homag edgebanders. Stiles Homag laserTec edgebanding system uses laser beam energy to activate the adhesive properties of the banding and fuse it to the panel edge. 

It should be noted that, unlike regular edgeband, there is no adhesive involved here. The REHAU LaserEdge uses a color-matched functional polymer layer on the reverse side of the edgeband which is welded to the board vialLaser or hot-air technology.

Laser edgbanding runs faster, but carries a significant price tag: $300,000 plus the cost of the edgebanding machine. airTec edgebanding, a $45,000 upcharge on both Brandt and Homag models, is more compact and less expensive.

An early adopter of hot air edgbanding was Closet America, Lanham, MD. The home storage sytems designer and manufacturer is the first U.S. company to place the Biesse Roxyl AirForce hot air edgebanding system in its production line.

The hot air edgebander emits a forceful stream of hot, compressed air through a slot nozzle, directed onto a reactive layer of specialized Rehau edgeband material activating the adhesive that bonds the banding to the panel edge.