The Basics and Best Practices of Industrial Adhesives
Often referred to as “glue,” an adhesive is an element that is used to stick or bond together two surfaces. Structural adhesives form bonds that can sustain loads (via load-bearing joints), improve manufacturing processes, and final products for a variety of composite, metal and plastic assemblies. In the rest of the article, we explore how adhesives work, different types of structural adhesives (acrylic, epoxy and urethane), the advantages of using them, and best practices for various applications.
There are two key factors to understand the fundamentals of adhesion:
- Wetting – this is the ability of adhesives to sustain intimate contact with surfaces for them to bond well. Adhesives largely depend on good wetting to achieve maximum adhesion. In the figure below, substance A has very poor to no adhesion, in other words almost no wetting, substance “B” has poor adhesion or low wetting, and substance C has strong adhesion or high wetting.
How do Adhesives work?
- Chemical – the adhesive and substrate create chemical bonds.
- Mechanical – the adhesive fills any gap/pores/scratches, etc in the surface of the substrate.
- Diffusion – the adhesive disseminates into the surface at the molecular level.
Types of Adhesives
Generally speaking, there are three main types of adhesives: acrylic, epoxy, and urethane. The below image is a summary of the properties and main differences between the three. Read on for more details on each one of them.
- Acrylic Adhesives – a resin-based adhesive is known for being extremely strong at bonding various objects together. Moreover, they are environmentally resistant due to which they are preferred for the construction industry. These can withstand temperatures from -40°F to +400°F.
- Epoxy adhesives – used in industries such as automobiles and aircraft, these adhesives cure fast and form strong surfaces. Similar to Acrylic adhesives, Epoxy adhesives too can withstand temperatures from -40°F to +400°F.
- Urethane adhesives – these adhesives give the highest performance and are supremely adaptable. These adhesives are sensitive to moisture, therefore should be avoided in humid conditions and where there could be moisture involved. These can withstand temperatures of up to 250°F.
Main Applications of Adhesives
- Construction – for purposes such as floor tile and ceramic tiles installation, countertop lamination, carpet adhesives, drywall lamination adhesives, and so on.
- Packaging – carton-side seams, bonding of disposable products, bags, labels, cups, cosmetics and toiletries.
- Transportation – auto, truck and bus assemblies, and aircraft and aerospace structural assemblies.
To learn more about the type of adhesive you need – reach out to the experts at Alaska Trading. You can write to the team at [email protected] or [email protected]. Alternatively, you can also give them a call on +971 54 397 4576/+971 67 480 955.