Every Good Partnership Has an Origin Story
“These were used primarily for the tables, chairs, desk, and dresser legs to prevent scratching of newly installed hardwood floor. While the adhesive worked great, for added safety, we used a small amount of liquid Gorilla Glue to ensure adhesion was solid. Shipment was received as promised. Would highly recommend these in any size to protect your hardwood floors.”
“This was just the product I wanted however the adhesive did not stick to the Rockers of a wooden rocking chair. I did use the product however I had to superglue it with Gorilla Glue.”
- Actual Product Reviews via Amazon, 2021 & 2020
Ask any felt furniture pad manufacturer and the top complaint they receive is that the adhesive doesn’t hold. Pads fall off or shift over time from frequent movement. And while there are more permanent solutions, self-stick felt pads have a lifespan – but within reason.
New product development also includes a bit of tweaking the current product lines. With a handful of reviews that mentioned using Gorilla Glue as an additional adhesive for the felt furniture pads, Waxman Consumer Products Group reached out to the Cincinnati-based adhesive leader and struck up a partnership that has resulted in the latest line of Super Sliders products.
Building the Better Pad
“We didn’t want to make it too sticky, and we didn’t want to make it not sticky enough. We were thinking people will have to eventually remove them and we wanted them to be able to remove the adhesive,”said John Holzheimer, Vice President of Manufacturing and Supply Chain at Waxman Consumer Products Group.
“Without damaging or leaving residue,” added Rob Shade, Senior Project Manager.
“We made sure the basic chemistry of our adhesive was within their (Gorilla Glue’s) guideline and then tweaked the mixture so that it perfectly fit our application,” Holzheimer continued, “We had to get to their level of stickiness.”
The phrase “Gorilla Glue Technology” refers to the high level of quality and standards that the Super Sliders adhesive met. It was tested and approved by the team at Gorilla Glue. But the adhesive on the self-stick felt pads and gripper pads wasn’t the only part of building a new, better pad. Two more important layers were left to master.
The Wonders of EVA Foam
The pair explained how the product development team at the Bedford Heights, Ohio location continued their research and worked with theteam at Waxman Technology China. It wasn’t just a focus on the stickiness of the adhesive that mattered, it was the entire felt pad and the quality of it.
Competitive benchmark testing included the stickiness of the adhesive, and the longevity of the felt in both their regular and heavy-duty offerings. First, they found that the competitor’s would impregnate the felt, seeping into the fibers, and eventually making it harder. It would also reduce the effectiveness of the adhesive.
Super Sliders felt and gripper pads had one major difference from the competitors: a thin layer of EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) foam. This soft, resilient, and versatile material is very moldable, which made it a perfect fit for the line of surface protection products. The foam accomplished three things:
- Acted as a noise and shock dampener, dispersing the energy across the foam pad, and distributing the load.
- Acts as a barrier between the felt and adhesive; without it, the adhesive would seep into the crevasses of the felt, weakening the strength. This foam layer keeps the adhesive at the surface and in direct contact to the furniture leg or foot.
- The EVA foam also conforms to the bottom of the furniture. Every dimple and imperfection in the bottom surface of your piece of furniture is in impact with the pad. More surface area tocling to.
The EVA foam plus the Gorilla Glue Technology resulted in a better, stronger adhesive bond on the product, resulting in a tensile strength of 36 lbs., higher than the leading competitor. The foam not only helps the adhesive to cling to more surface area of a piece of furniture or décor but protected the furniture.
Nothing Should Last Forever
But the performance of the felt – the real star of the show –is where the naked eye can see the difference. The felt layer on this new line of Super Sliders is 60% more than a regular felt padand lasts 3x longer. This amount of felt has 20% higher shear, able to stand up to more daily abuse of rough or uneven floors. The felt is also softer than the competition, more protective of valued hardwood, tile, linoleum, and laminate floors.
Shade explained that during their competitive testing of the Super Sliders product versus a competitors products, they were surprised by the hardness of their competitor, testing how much the felt would shear. “Their higher end felt was worse, it was kind of stiff and would last forever. It was so tough, it wore away the sand on the sandpaper, so they essentially could go forever. Where we thought that was bad it was too stiff, so it would tear up everything. We made ours thicker and softer – our felt may wear away, but theirs burnt a hole in the sandpaper.”
Holzheimer added, “You don’t want it to be a diamond running across your floor. Your felt may last forever, but that’s not the purpose of the felt in this situation. The felt should wear away so it doesn’t tear up your floors.”
Just the Beginning
Starting with the handful of gripper pads and felt pads, Super Sliders has a deep roster of products that would benefit from the addition of Gorilla Glue Technology. Plans are in the works, determining which existing products – as well as new ones on the horizon – could provide a higher quality of surface protection.
By continuing to explore what customers are looking for and partnerships that help deliver those products, Super Sliders will continue to lead the way in surface protection and other items that enable you to live a carefree life.