Consumer electronic devices keep getting smaller, and that leaves no room for traditional fasteners. Manufacturers are turning to adhesives technology that allows for bonding different substrates to one another. These adhesives increasingly have to perform multiple functions. Apart from bonding and sealing, they are also employed to cushion components and insulate them against heat. They also have to be able to reduce the stress that results from the differing expansion coefficients of materials.
The adhesives and sealants used in consumer electronic devices must be able to withstand both heat and cold, and the adhesives used in wearable devices must be non-toxic and tolerate exposure to chemicals such as those found in skin creams and sun-blocks. The multi-layer surfaces that are used in manufacturing wearable electronics could be bonded with silicone-based adhesives. Dow Corning is currently working on silicones that will be able to bond the many different substrates used. These include metal, glass, plastics and elastomers.