The industrial world has moved on leaps and bounds from the days when wood, metal and stone were virtually the only materials in regular use. When it came to combining these materials, traditional joining techniques such as riveting, welding and bolting were more than sufficient – one of the reasons they continue to be used today.
The development of new materials has, however, forced many companies to seek different methods of joining as the traditional techniques are no longer sufficient. Thermal techniques such as welding are often unsuitable because some of the new materials may be adversely affected by the presence of such extreme heat.
Mechanical techniques such as riveting or the use of bolts and screws require holes to be drilled in the materials that are being joined and doing so inevitably weakens the materials, which, in turn, can reduce the overall structural integrity of the finished product. For this reason, greater emphasis is being placed on bonding technology and the use of high-strength adhesives is set to grow in both the commercial and industrial sectors in the future.
The latest bonding technology is capable of joining virtually any combination of materials. With little requirement for heat input, the intrinsic strength of the original material can easily be maintained. As a result, entirely new methods of construction can be employed, often saving time or money as a result, and the aesthetics of the end product can be enhanced. One example of this can be found in shipbuilding, where decks were traditionally welded to the primary structure but are now attached using adhesives.
Today there are a variety of advanced industrial adhesives available on the market from numerous manufacturers like ct1 and others. Modern hybrid polymers for instance do not require any mixing and can be used on both wet and dry surfaces. Additionally, some hybrid polymers are even capable of fixing a 30cm square, 10 kilo marble slab onto a vertical substrate – something that would normally require fixing bolts in each corner of the slab.
Further benefits of using adhesives include the elimination of corrosion that occurs when metal is bonded using rivets or screws, the ability to make do with greater tolerances as adhesives can be used to fill small gaps and improved reliability and durability of the end product.