Structural adhesives

Jon Lawson

According to Ellsworth Adhesives Europe, structural adhesives are the hottest adhesive product on the market right now, and when you take a closer look at their capabilities, it’s easy to understand why…

Structural adhesives are extremely high strength and can be used to hold structural materials such as metals and wood, with chemical and mechanical surface attachment forces. This bond is not only strong – it is also long lasting, even under the heaviest of loads.
 
With their ability to withstand the toughest of conditions, structural adhesives have become increasingly popular in the engineering and industrial industries, with many manufacturers now shunning traditional fasteners in favour of the durable structural adhesive.

When compared with traditional fastening methods, such as rivets, welds and tapes, structural adhesives are more cost effective. Manufacturer’s using Structural adhesives eliminate the costs associated with metal preparation and finishing operations. Furthermore, structural adhesives have been formulated to improve manufacturing processes and final products for a variety of composite, metal and plastic assemblies.

Ellsworth Adhesives Europe supplies a range of structural adhesives manufactured by the Lord Corporation. The Lord structural adhesives range is diverse and consists of acrylic, epoxy and urethane adhesives with each category catering to different application requirements.

Chemistry Acrylic-based adhesives are very ‘aggressive’ and are primarily used to bond metals but also work very well on plastics. Acrylics require minimum surface preparation but should be tested for compatibility.
 
Urethane-based adhesives are another good choice for bonding plastics and are also very compatible with composites, wood and foam. It’s worth noting that urethane structural adhesives do not adhere well to metal without a primer or other coating, so they are generally used for metal bonding applications where the metal is primed, painted, powder-coated or e-coated.
Epoxy-based structural are generally very strong and chemically resistant and can be used on metals, plastics, composites, concrete, wood and foam.