Often on our pages we talk about single-sided and double-sided tapes, today we want to explore another field of our product range: 3M™ STRUCTURAL ADHESIVES.
What is a structural adhesive?
A structural adhesive is a glue generally made up of acrylic, polyurethane or epoxy resins, capable of withstanding great physical and chemical stresses and replacing traditional mechanical fastening methods with many advantages compared to it.
Scotch-Weld™ structural adhesives were designed by 3M™ to help create high performance products by going beyond the limits of mechanical fastening but, what are their advantages?
- Improvement of the aesthetic result of the joint (avoiding rivets, nails, "visible" bolts)
- Weight reduction (the fixing obtained through a glue is lighter than that obtained through mechanical parts)
- Sealing and vibration reduction (the adhesive bond joint, seals and insulates at the same time, and also reduces vibration stresses, acting as a shock absorber)
- Possibility of dosing the correct quantity of product according to the needs, also allowing the bonding of very small parts
- Possibility of bonding dissimilar substrates (such as, for example, glass and metal)
- The chemical bond, unlike the mechanical one, distributes the stress uniformly over the entire joint, and does not create weak points due to stress concentration in the joined surfaces
3M™ offers a complete range of products divided into 3 macro-families: epoxy, polyurethane and acrylic. Each of which includes 3 types of adhesive: Rigid, flexible and toughened.
Epoxy adhesives are high performance glues with greater resistance to high temperatures, solvents and external atmospheric agents. They adhere well to metals, wood and (the more flexible ones) also to plastics and rubbers.
They generally require cleaning and abrasion of the surface, before their application, for maximum adhesion.
Polyurethane adhesives are characterized by excellent impact resistance and good adhesion to most plastics and metals. Good adhesion to wood, concrete and rubber. However, they have a reduced resistance to solvents and high temperatures.
Quick and versatile, Acrylic adhesives offer good adhesion performance and durability, although slightly inferior to epoxies. Easy to use, they have higher tolerance to the presence of contaminants on the surfaces to be bonded. They allow you to assemble a wide variety of materials, including many plastics.
New generation acrylics can be stored at room temperature, have a longer shelf life and low odor compared to traditional acrylics.
How to choose the right adhesive
When choosing a glue you should evaluate many factors, let's see some of them together:
-Type of joint: what type of performance is required? Does the joint need to be stiff or elastic? What stresses (chemical, physical, environmental) will it be subjected to?
-Substrate: What are the materials to be bonded? Are they dissimilar to each other? what are their coefficients of thermal expansion?
-Gluing process: What is the current production process? The solution found need to fit the current process/equipment used, or can some modifications be made? What are the different phases and how fast should they be? At any time, may it be necessary to reposition the bonded parts? If yes, why and when? Are there any environmental, regulatory or safety restrictions?
-End user: How and where the finished product will be used? Will the bonded product be subjected to severe environmental conditions (UV, chemicals, high humidity, very high or low temperatures)?
-Costs: Is it possible to optimize the production process by using a Structural Adhesive (manpower, reduction of process steps, materials, work flow, etc…)?
Choosing the right product can be a rather difficult undertaking and that is why we always suggest our customers to avoid the "do-it-yourself" and always contact our expert technicians.
All the products of the 3M™ Scotch weld range, including applicators, plungers and nozzles, are available on our store www.drtapes.it.
Can't find the product? Contact us in direct chat, by mail at email@example.com or write us on Whatsapp at +39 351 6143970 and we will upload the product in real time!