Making the correct choice



Selecting the right tool for a job can make the world of difference in how smoothly you’ll be able to work and how good will the outcome actually be. Same is valid for selecting the best possible adhesive, if bonding is a part of what you’re producing or processing.

The possibilities are many more than one might think, and making a mistake is easier than getting it right. So, start from the essentials. What is your application like? Which materials are you bonding? Is there a gap to fill? Does the part need to withstand high temperatures? Or do extreme loads exist? Will it be exposed to aggressive environments or impacted by the weather and outdoor elements? Is the speed of curing of the adhesive important for your process? Or do you favour flexibility of the bond line?

Even after you answer all these questions, you might want to prioritise all your answers, because very likely, more than one of these factors are going to be important at the same time.

If the speed matters most, then cyanoacrylate technology is your best bet. CA is the base chemistry of what the non-engineers would call super-glue or instant adhesive. However, if flexibility of the bond line is also high on your priority list, you may want to reconsider.

In case you require a seal as well as a bond, you may want to look into anaerobic adhesives or silane-modified polymers.

Silicones are among the more flexible adhesives and secure excellent gasketing performance as well.

For high gap filling requirements, you’re most likely to find your solution among epoxies.

If your application combines many of the above requirements, but none of them go to the extremes, hybrid technology could be your solution. Hybrids combine properties of CAs and either epoxies or MMAs, which gives them the versatility that isn’t found in any other adhesive.

I’ve only touched the very few chemistries and there main properties, but you can explore more here. As always, for your final decision, I strongly recommend contacting an adhesive expert.

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