Industrial manufacturers have several options when it comes to bonding materials. For many years engineers have relied on fasteners, welding, spray adhesives and other bonding solutions. These solutions have proved successful but each comes with limitations that more often than not leave engineers searching for a better, more effective solution.
Liquid adhesives are often used for high-strength applications but can be difficult to apply. Automated machines or manual applicators are typically required. This can be an added expense for manufacturers or it may not even fit into their assembly process. For manual applications, it can be difficult to apply and even more difficult to control the process. Most liquid adhesives also require curing which creates an extra step during the assembly process.
Spray adhesives can be just as difficult. Similar to liquid adhesives they require an applicator that can be manually or automatically applied. Manual application almost always introduces variables into your assembly process. Whether it’s trying to evenly apply the adhesive or contain the spray, is difficult to control from a quality standpoint.
Rivets and Fasteners
Rivets and fasteners can be used for industrial applications that require a permanent bond. They too require a unique application process that can severely slow down assembly times.
In order to use rivets as a bonding solution, holes need to be drilled into materials. These holes create stress points in the material and unless they are applied evenly and thoroughly, they can increase the likelihood of bond failure. Fasteners also have a tendency to corrode over time or fall out due to vibrations depending on how the product is used.
As more manufacturers are working to create lighter weight and better performing products, engineers are shying away from rivets and fasteners because they add unnecessary weight without the guarantee of a permanent bond.
Welding has long been considered one of the best ways to achieve a quick and permanent bond. But welding isn’t a viable option for every project depending on several circumstances.
Not all materials can be welded, or trying to weld dissimilar materials can create additional challenges such as corrosion. Welding is also a labor intensive process that can significantly increase labor and material costs. It’s not always the most aesthetically pleasing bonding solution either. Weld lines and weld marks leave surfaces looking very rough and unfinished at times. Welding slag is also often a byproduct of some welding processes and often needs to be removed using manual or power tools.
Pressure Sensitive Adhesives
Pressure sensitive adhesives (PSAs) have quickly become one of the most trusted permanent bonding solutions on the market. PSAs provide design engineers the freedom to a design a solution in the best possible manner without having to worry about designing for fasteners, welds or other difficult to apply bonding solutions.
Adhesives can be converted to custom sizes, shapes, and formats. Die cutting PSAs can create an adhesive part that fits seamlessly into any assembly process whether automated or manually applied. Die cut PSAs also provide the unique advantage of an evenly distributed bond throughout the entire shape of the adhesive part without creating concentrated stress points similar to those created by rivets and fasteners.
Pressure sensitive adhesives are used for bonding in many industrial and consumer products where aesthetics combined with high performance are crucial.
Strouse converts pressure sensitive adhesives to custom lengths, widths, sizes shapes and formats to help global manufacturers solve application challenges. With almost 30 years of experience and partnerships with leading PSA manufacturers including 3M, Strouse continues to excel in helping engineers solve the impossible by using adhesives.