Finding the best rubber adhesive requires thinking of various factors and needs associated with your product. However, taking a careful and thoughtful approach reduces the chance of making errors or experiencing unintended consequences. Here’s a closer look at how to find the best adhesive for rubber bonding.
A good starting point is to think about the conditions the rubber will go through after bonding. It’s then easier to narrow down the options for adhesives by eliminating unsuitable options. Maybe you require an adhesive to prepare waterproof footwear for outdoor activities. Then, the chosen product must remain reliable when exposed to excessive moisture, including short-term submersion. On the other hand, you might need an adhesive for a rubber product primarily used outside and exposed to frequent sunlight. If so, it must withstand ultraviolet light.
People also believe adhesive bonding will eventually replace the welding used on medical device joints. UV adhesives and cyanoacrylates are popular options in such cases. However, when bonding rubber for a medical device, people must consider the product’s uses. For example, will the bonded rubber be in direct contact with the body or skin? Must the rubber withstand exposure to bodily fluids or disinfecting products or procedures? Is the product a single-use item or reusable? What regulatory requirements must the manufacturer satisfy to ensure safety?
Some rubber-containing products have dedicated adhesives for fixing them. A wetsuit is one example. The neoprene and rubber are the parts of a wetsuit most likely to tear. An avid surfer or sea swimmer who goes in the water 100 times annually may need to replace their wetsuit every two years. However, that’s less likely if they know how to repair them. Wetsuit cement is the proper adhesive to handle rubber-related damage. The general process is to apply wetsuit cement to both sides of the seam and let it dry before sewing it by hand. Then, apply a final coat for reinforcement. When you consider that wetsuits get used in both wet and salty conditions, it makes sense that manufacturers have a specific adhesive for that application.
Another thing to find out before choosing an adhesive is the kind of rubber used in the product or application. Natural rubber comes from nature – specifically, certain types of trees. Most of the world’s natural rubber comes from Thailand, although other Asian countries have recently increased production. Natural rubber is a common material used for high-performance tires due in part to its strength and heat-resistant nature. It’s also a component in many adhesives. That’s because the sap used to make natural rubber has a stickiness and tacky consistency...
Source: Adhesives Magazine