The Benefits of Using Hot Melt Adhesives Over Mechanical Fasteners

Adhesives, Industry News,

Adhesives are increasingly replacing mechanical fasteners in the transportation industry. As marine, automotive and aerospace manufacturers start using the latest adhesive technologies, including hot melts, the benefits are becoming increasingly important for OEMs.

The reasons include benefits during the manufacturing process such as reducing costs in terms of both the material used for bonding, and the labor needed to do it. Other important benefits include lowering the chance of damage to surfaces during assembly, ensuring better product performance, assembly time, production line speed, lightweighting, and end use.

In considering these factors transportation companies have found that adhesives are more likely to provide the most positive results in all of these factors, and possibly a few more, particularly when it comes to using hot melt adhesives.

By distributing the stress evenly along a bond, adhesives help to make each component rigid, and by doing so avoid the problems faced by mechanical fasteners. These include damaging surfaces by not distributing the stress beyond the bond points as adhesives do, and therefore require a thicker component, or more material, in order to ensure the stress is focused on each point. 

Mechanical fasteners can also increase the weight of the product, add to the costs of the assembly, and slow down the production when compared with adhesives, all of which are a lot lighter than mechanical fasteners. They are also shown to be a better choice than fasteners when the bonding involves two different metals, or there is exposure to water, chemicals, or thermal cycling.