Anti-slip for conveyor belts

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IMG_0135

When we talk about anti-slip coatings, there are usually two possibilities to refer to: pedestrian traffic or vehicular traffic. You won’t hear people talk about the traffic of big plastic bottles in that context very often.

However, that’s the exact slippery traffic that Henkel’s detergent production facility in Vienna had problems with.

Due to high inclination, low friction and high speed of the conveyor belt, the bottles of Weisser Riese detergent were slipping off the belt. This was causing frequent line stops, scrapping costs and additional handling time. Different coatings were tested to prevent this, but usually wore off the belt in just a few days and had to be reapplied.

Finally, Loctite PC 6261 YL was tested. This product is normally used to cover slippery walking surfaces in the industrial environment to prevent accidents and isn’t not usually used on conveyor belts. Still, it proved to be more than effective. Not only does it prevent slipping of the bottles off the belt, but its yellow colour makes it very easily detectable when it wears out in some places and needs to be re-touched. Which won’t be any time soon because the product itself was designed to withstand much more impact than it’s subjected to on the conveyor belt.

The glue that holds even when you crash!

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Crashtest

Unless you’re directly involved in manufacturing of cars, even as an engineer you probably rarely think about how much adhesive there is on an average car and what kind of crucial roles it plays.

Within the EU, all new cars must comply with clearly defined safety standards during crash tests. One of the scenarios simulated during these tests is the so-called frontal offset crash, which is responsible for more deaths and serious injuries than any other type of accident. The NCAP ‏(New Car Assessment Program) stipulates that the car collision must be tested and analysed at a speed of 64 km/h and an offset rate of just 40 percent against a deformable barrier. A test has recently been made according to the same parameters, with a used car, to determine exactly how safe it remains after its windscreen has been replaced using the direct glazing adhesive Teroson PU 8730 HMLC.

The test was done in cooperation with an independent facility: crashtest-service.com ‏(CTS) in Münster Germany. Before the test, the guests witnessed the replacement of the windscreen. 30 minutes after the windscreen was bonded – which is the specified drive away time for Teroson PU 8730 HMLC – the test was performed immediately.

The main objective of the test was to show the importance of the windscreen during frontal collisions, because it contributes to vehicle rigidity and supports the passenger airbag in a crash. If the adhesive which holds the windscreen onto the car body failed during the crash, this rigidity, and with it also the functionality of the airbag, would be compromised.

In this case the windscreen bonded with Teroson adhesive, not only withstood the extreme crash test conditions, but also delivered the measured values required for the full functioning of the passenger airbag.

The things you don’t see on the football field

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soccer stadium

There’s probably very few people in this world who haven’t spent at least a minute in the past weeks watching football championship matches, or at least catching the day’s summary on the news in the evening. A rather painful moment for me to be writing this, being German. And, to add insult to injury, my wife happens to be Mexican! Yes: ouch!

Nevertheless, it’s not the sports results I wanted to talk about here (clearly!). There are many different factors that have to come together and work properly for the championship to be a success. I bet you’re guessing this has to do with adhesives.

To begin with – the ball. Nothing would be possible without is. The ball used to be sewn by hand, joining together different elements over two layers of lining. Nowadays, it’s produced of fewer individual parts bonded by special adhesives. That makes it lighter, more aerodynamic and less permeable to water when it rains.

The gear that the players use to be both: light on their feet and protected in duels that sometimes happen on the field, must be of top quality and super reliable. Use of adhesive made it possible for the cleats to be lighter, more flexible and follow the players movement more closely, while the shin guards now adapt to the shape of the leg much better and pinch much less.

And that’s only the elements involved in the game directly. There is a number of other objects indirectly involved that benefit from the use of adhesive, like the stadium itself (flooring, walls and ceiling installations), floodlights, other lighting systems and various displays as well as the very buses on which the teams are transported from their accommodation to the stadium.

Where hybrid adhesives are your best bet

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As much interest and amazement as our videos of pulling trains or parking trucks on rigs bonded with hybrid adhesives generated, let’s be honest: how often do you need to pull a train or park a truck in that way? Not very often.

There are, however, very realistic situations in industrial manufacturing or repair, where hybrid adhesive becomes indispensable. This technology is completely innovative and we are discovering new possibilities with it almost on daily basis. I’m going to share only a few fields in which they will usually outperform any other available option.

when hybrid is your best bet

One of the most common challenges in modern manufacturing is joining of two or more materials of very different characteristics. This is usually a challenge for the traditional methods as well, not only for bonding. Different materials mean different adhesion properties, but can also mean different reactions to thermal cycling, humidity, impact stress, or any number of other factors to which the final product might be subjected.

Hybrid adhesives tackle this challenge because they adhere well to a huge multitude of substrates and withstand well the majority of mentioned factors. Bonding of dissimilar substrates is most often a requirement in the production of indoor and outdoor signage and advertising elements, bonding of equipment tags and RFID tags and in the production of special architecture, like awning arms, railings and the like.

Another common requirement in, for example, production of heavy lifting equipment, street furniture, conveyor belt frames and fitness equipment is impact strength in general. Which is also where hybrid adhesives will perform considerably better than other technologies. If you need to pair that with fast curing, chemical, heat or moisture resistance, you’ll often find a hybrid adhesive is your only choice. Some of the typical examples are vibration dampers, magnetic motors, electric scooters, vending machines, plumbing production, building construction, elevator panels etc.

Dispensing and assembly of liquid gaskets

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I wrote a lot about the liquid gaskets in the last posts and, as I’ve mentioned previously anyone who is interested in more is welcome to request the complete Gasketing design guide. Nevertheless I have to mention a few more things related to dispensing and assembly of parts when liquid gaskets are used.

When it comes to preparation of the parts, the same golden rule is valid as always with bonding – clean the parts as thoroughly as possible. Normally, pre-produced metal parts will carry instructions from the manufacturer for cleaning before putting them into further use, and they should always be followed.

RTV Elastomers will be slightly less sensitive to contaminants than anaerobics.

Single Rotary

Possibility of automation is often a critical factor when decision is being made on how to seal your flanges. With liquid gaskets the dispensing can be fully automated. Dispensing them robotically is actually the most reliable method for high volume production. Anaerobics can be screen printed as well, but this method is more suitable for medium volume productions which don’t require any flexibility in the process. I definitely recommend consulting an expert before setting anything up.

 

Gaskets: Anaerobics versus RTV Elastomers

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AN_vs_RTV gasketing

As magical a liquid as anaerobics may seem, they are not necessarily suitable for every flange type. They are most suited for sealing rigid flanges, designed to achieve optimum stiffness between two parts, minimise movement between them and transmit forces from one to another. Typical examples of such flanges can be found in vehicles, including gearbox housings, bedplate to crankcase, water pump to engine block and cam cover to cylinder head.

Anaerobic FIP (formed-in-place) sealants are ideal for rigid bolted joints because they offer metal to metal contact, ensure correct bolt tension, add structural strength, offer high pressure resistance and extensive on part life when exposed to air, making multiple application methods possible.

When it comes to flexible flanges, however, your best choice are RTV (Room Temperature Vulcanising) elastomers. They are best suited to seal i.e. gearbox covers, timing chain covers, stamped sheet steel parts, thin-walled metal castings and oil pans. Normally, flexible flanges don’t support the function of the parts, so micro-movement can be tolerated and optimum clamp load distribution is not crucial.

You’ll usually find flexible flanges covering openings in housings, sealing liquids inside components or protecting them from external contamination, covering moving parts for safety etc.

While anaerobics remain liquid on parts for as long as they are exposed to oxygen, RTV elastomers will cure into rubbery solids by reacting with the moisture from the environment. So there is a considerable difference in on part life between the two, which is important to take into consideration when suitability of the manufacturing process is being decided.

In both cases – rigid and flexible flanges – there are certain design recommendations to be followed to make the flange best suited for either anaerobic or RTV elastomer FIP gasket. Details can be found in the Gasketing design guide which I am happy to share on request.

To all the hardworking engineers out there!

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Christmas

It’s that time of the year once again! Time to take a well deserved break, slow down and take it easy. I know there’s one wish that applies to you all: may all the machines you tend to all year through, lovingly repay you for all the care you give them by running smoothly and without any need for interventions during the upcoming festive days!

Merry Christmas and all the best to you all for the coming new year!