Innovations in the industrial glue industry – a glimpse into the future

The industrial glue industry has seen a wave of exciting and groundbreaking innovations in recent years. Adhesives for a multitude of applications are now available and many of the challenges previously faced by the industry are being addressed with versatile new products.

Innovations in the industrial glue industry - a glimpse into the future

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Many in the automotive industry are already using metal bonding adhesives rather than the traditional method of welding parts together. In addition to being a more cost-effective method, using strong adhesives to bond metal panels together can result in greater structural integrity and a more lightweight end product.

Challenges of using adhesives in industry

Despite the obvious benefits, industrial glue has still been frequently passed over in favour of welding due to a number of perceived or real drawbacks, such as the amount of time the adhesives need to cure and concerns about long-term strength. The Sustainable Design Award also highlights toxicity and environmental concerns as factors affecting the choice and use of industrial glues.

Environmentally-friendly adhesives

In recent times, new industrial strength metal bonding adhesives such as Power Grab ‘n’ Bond have appeared on the market. Such products do not contain the solvents that are the cause for concern in many older products. Other innovations include a new adhesive from Henkel that can reach full cure at variable temperatures between 25°C and 180°C. This makes it extremely versatile, as setting at room temperatures negates the need for extreme heat to cure.

Flexible sealants are now also available solvent free and there are even silicone sealants that contain a component that enables the curing of only areas that are not exposed to UV light. This gives users the benefits of silicone sealants in addition to the speed of ultra violet cure.

High-volume, high-speed requirements

For applications where high volumes of different components need to be bonded at speed, such as needle or syringe assembly, several types of adhesives have been created to allow different materials to be joined together. These adhere well to glass, plastic and metal, resulting in a medical grade bond that sets in seconds when exposed to UV radiation.

It is clear that the use of industrial glues is only going to increase over the next few years as more applications become possible with the help of scientific and technological advancements.

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