Product designers and manufacturers are increasingly replacing traditional fasteners with adhesives, more often than not achieving superior bonds, better aesthetics and improved durability, but when making this change, there are several design, production process and materials considerations that should be borne in mind.
The first of these is the type of assembly required, for example, a simple attachment or a full surface lamination may be required. The substrates to be bonded and the requirements for the bond help adhesives experts to recommend the correct adhesives to be used. The type of production process used, manual or automated, should also be taken into account as well as the environmental conditions the product will be exposed to in its end-use. For example, UV exposure, temperatures and exposure to chemicals will affect the choice of adhesive. Cost should also be taken into account since the use of adhesives often helps manufacturers to save on time, labor and materials. In terms of bond-strength, a toughened epoxy adhesive provides a much stronger bond than rivets, bolts, spot welds or even full welds.
Engineers seeking time-savings when transitioning to adhesives can reduce or eliminate the qualification period needed to determine the suitability of adhesives for specific applications by partnering with adhesives suppliers and manufacturers.
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