Structural Adhesives Can Replace Fasteners in Composites Manufacturing

Chemical factory. Elastomer and thermoplastic production line.
As the use of composites materials in a myriad of industry segments continues to evolve, so too does the use of structural adhesives to bind composite components. Adhesives are ideal for bonding dissimilar materials in composites manufacturing, such as metals to composites or thermoplastics. Structural adhesives possess enough to strength to bond highly stressed components while providing seamless and flexible bonding lines.

Adhesive-only bonding is attractive in composites manufacturing because of its potential to replace mechanical fasteners as part of the manufacturing assembly process. Structural adhesives are being utilized for structural bonding of composite materials in marine, automotive, wind energy, construction, aerospace, and other industrial market segments that require structural components to withstand demanding environmental conditions. The bonding process introduces cost and weight advantages, as well as expedited production times and improved fatigue performance.

Types, temperatures and timing
Structural adhesives offer advantages over mechanical fastening methods, including ease of use, cost savings, preparation and production time savings, and aesthetic appeal. Many factors need to be considered when using adhesives for the structural bonding of composite materials to ensure maximum benefit and result. It is important to understand and properly prepare the composition of the substrates in order to select the ideal adhesive for the application, and to achieve the desired manufacturing requirements, aesthetic and strength.

The structural properties of adhesives for aerospace and other industrial applications are customizable depending on the application, and include varying chemistries, curing methods and temperatures, open times and final bond capabilities. They are available for use in low and high viscosities.

Composites One is proud to distribute leading products from featured suppliers of structural adhesives, including: ITW Plexus, Parker Lord and Huntsman (Araldite), Scott Bader (Crestomer and Crestabond), and IPS Structural Adhesives (SCIGRIP).

Learn more about structural adhesives and applications from the technical experts at Composites One.