Most manufacturing processes have one thing in common: at least once in the process there are some two parts which need to be joined together. And to do this, the usual go-to options are mechanical fasteners or welding. Design and manufacturing engineers trust them because they’ve been around since the industrial revolution and were proven in practice countless times. Bonding can complement the traditional methods, make some of them more reliable (i.e. when it comes to thread locking or sealing) and sometimes completely replace them when bonding better fits the design requirements.
Each time two parts are joined, the requirements can be completely different:
- Detachable or non-detachable method
- Similar or disimilar materials being joined
- Load transfer requirements
- Aesthetic requirements
When we’re talking about non-detachable joining of metal parts which need to sustain heavy loads and where the appealing appearance of the joint line is not a crucial factor, welding is the number 1 choice of every engineer.
However, bonding is the card you’ll want to play when joining dissimilar materials, when loads need to be distributed evenly through the joint or eye-pleasing aesthetic appearance of the joint line is required.
One of the examples is production of the blades for wind turbines. The blades are extremely long and heavy and on top of that they need to withstand high dynamic loads. Dismantling them for maintenance requires an enormous effort, which is why they are constructed in a way that ensures it’s not necessary. This involves bonding parts together using reliable adhesives, but also testing the blades rigorously, as is demonstrated in the following video. (Clarification: product mentioned in the video has been renamed Loctite UK 1340.)
This is only one possible example, though. Your requirements may be completely different and can vary from weight saving needs to joint sealing requirements. Whether bonding is a solution you’ve been looking for, browse here and check.