Perfect Binding

Perfect Binding can be an excellent and efficient method of binding FlexBind® hinged photo pages.  The same challenges and rules apply to perfect binding as with all binding methods, most importantly, that the spines of the FlexBind® pages are held tightly together, thus allowing them to flex at the hinge.  Traditionally, perfect bound books flex at the glue edge which is not acceptable for FlexBind® products.

Start with your normal process, there may not be any reason to change anything and FlexBind® will work perfectly.  The most common problems associated with perfect binding FlexBind® photo pages are:

  1. 1st page pull down – The end sheets are side glued to the first and last page of the book block and pull the page down past the FlexBind® hinge
  2. Spine separation – The spines of each FlexBind® page flex open at the glued edge revealing the unprinted area beyond the hinge.

Both of these issues are easily correctable by following the recomendations in the attached document.  Tips for Perfect Binding FlexBind


Can I use PUR to bind FlexBind® photo pages?

Yes!  There are many types of PUR adhesive and numerous perfect binding PUR machinces to choose from.  In general, most machines are capable of making FlexBind® books.  Not all glues are recommended.  Typically, the harder setting adhesives make the best FlexBind® books.

The laminated FlexBind® hinges are torn on some of the pages after binding.  Why is this happening?

1.  The grinding process is too aggressive for the unsupported hinge.  Reduce the amount of grind to the book block until there is no damage to the laminated hinge.  Many binders do not require any grinding when using FlexBind® because there is not longer any stress on the adhesive binding.  Since the FlexBind® hinge allows the pages to turn without flexing the adhesive, the binding will last significantly longer than when using normal paper, even without grinding!  Be sure to thoroughly test all changes made to your standard process.

2.  Leave one or both of the gap stiffeners on through the perfect binding process.  The edge of the book block with the gap stiffener should be the lead edge through the grinder.  This will also help with keeping the spine straight while the soft cover is applied.  The book block can then be trimmed before casing in.  See the picture below.

Is there a way to reliably ensure that the PUR adhesive will hold the FlexBind® spine rigidly in place?  Since there is a longer hold time for PUR, the final cure of the adhesive binding is done while the products is in shipping to the customer.

The most reliable way to ensure that the FlexBind® spine of the book block is held rigidly together is to apply a few side staples after perfect binding.  Many binderies already incorporate side stapling in conjunction with normal perfect binding to prevent returns for loose pages.  Another alternative is to notch the spine with 3mm groves.  These notches in the book block allow the adhesive (PUR or EVA) to penetrate deeper into the spine, thus keeping the pages rigidly together.

Can I use FlexBind® with soft cover books on my perfect binder?

Yes!  The same general rules apply to making soft cover perfect bound books as with hard cover books.  The one exception is that the covers need to be heavily scored at the level of the FlexBind® hinge.  See the picture below.

Perfect Binder Manufacturers

  1. CP Bourg
  2. Horizon
  3. Duplo
  4. Muller Martini
  5. Wohlenberg
  6. NewBind