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Adhesives.org Article: The Many Advantages of Adhesive Bonding for Composite Materials

Posted By ASC, Friday, March 16, 2018

Strong, lightweight composites can solve many product design problems, but bonding them to other materials using traditional methods is often impossible. Most composites won’t stand up to welding, and holes to accommodate traditional fasteners will also weaken them. Nevertheless, we see composites being adopted in the aerospace and automotive industries, and adhesives are making this materials revolution possible.

Polymer matrix composites, also called fiber-reinforced plastics, are taking the place of metal in casings and retaining structures. The fibers used include glass, basalt, carbon, and aramid, and since they’re both strong and lightweight, they fulfil the needs of designers in terms of increasing stiffness-to-weight ratio while allowing for improved aesthetics and resistance to environmental stress. The materials include glass-filled polyester resins and thermoplastic composites. Drilling holes in these materials breaks the reinforcing fibers, compromising their strength.

Composite adhesive bonding, on the other hand, is made possible with the help of advanced adhesives and tapes which are as strong (and sometimes stronger) than rivets or welds. But adhesives offer more than just bond strength. Manufacturers can choose adhesives to seal joins, or to separate dissimilar substrates that would otherwise be subject to galvanic corrosion, and the advantages of a clean, almost seamless bond is...

 

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