The Importance of Surface Preparation before Applying Industrial AdhesivesJanuary 29, 2019
Industrial adhesives are always applied according to a series of stringently controlled utilization steps. After all, there are heavy loads and fast-moving parts in play, and they’ll be throwing out copious quantities of energy after they’re chemically joined. To maximize such liquid-bonded joints, a baseline must be established, one that assures an absolutely clean start.
Surface Preparation Importance
What’s being hinted at in the opening paragraph? Simply put, even the finest industrial adhesive won’t find purchase if it’s used on a poorly prepped surface. Oils negate the joining action, dirt and grime come away from the liquid curing site as the pasty substrate hardens, and the glue fails. This isn’t a sign of a poorly formulated adhesive, not necessarily. No, this is a sign that the implementation process has gone awry. The targeted join surfaces are not optimally primed. Okay, half of the solution is at hand because the user knows the problem. What comes next?
Prepare the Adhesion Site
Clean the oils and dirt away from the surfaces with an approved cleaning agent. A filthy, watery coating is easily identified, so it can be washed away, then dried. Other contaminants are harder to identify. For instance, an oily film has developed on a machine part. The equipment generates tiny particles of oil, which accumulate on exposed surfaces. Even if the film can’t be sensed, it’s there, inhibiting the curing action of an awaiting industrial adhesive. Wet coatings need to be wiped away, then the surface has to dry. As for the oily film, it also requires remedial action. To really assure curing action, the target surfaces must be contaminant-free. Incidentally, even surface temperature issues can inhibit the adhering phase.
Techniques for Reinforcing Industrial Adhesion
Certain materials simply defy adhesion agents, no matter their formulation. Special primers can be used to decrease this behaviour and maximize the bonding effect. The primer functions as a sort of catalytic agent, one that stimulates the curing effect. If a primer isn’t available, then there are other options available. Chemical etchers, those used to prepare application surfaces, maximize surface adhesion. Alternatively, a flame treatment procedure acts as a grain transforming tool, so the slippery characteristics of a nominated surface transform. Heated in this manner, the material grain becomes far more bond amenable.
Surface preparation, as used on an industrial bonding project, is important. More than a pre-processing phase, this prep work is essential. Without it, a bond could develop as an inherently weak joint. The flaw, perhaps today or perhaps a month from application, will destabilize until the bond fails. That’s a possibility that cannot be allowed to exist, not in an industrially scaled bonding scenario.
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