Increase durability and efficiency of your waste water utilities

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Bonding in engineering

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Waste water processing plants are something that no city, or large industrial facility like power station, pulp and paper factory or steel plant, can go without. If one went out of function, it would catch everyone’s attention very quickly and most likely lead to significant losses in downtime, penalties or health and safety issues.

One of the main materials that make parts of a waste water utility plant is concrete. Concrete is seen by most people as a very durable material, and that’s fundamentally true, but it’s far from being absolutely resistant to damages. Most usual kinds of damages that can occur on concrete are mechanical and chemical.

Waste water facilities are made of concrete and metal almost in their entirety. Both materials are prone to wear, while metal is additionally threatened by corrosion. The wear damage is caused by abrasive particles flowing through the plant or chemicals used in…

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Savings through proactive maintenance proven in steel industry

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Bao steel infographic

Pumps and related equipment are something I’ve talked about in detail quite a bit. I’m returning to the topic because there is a fantastic story coming from the steel industry in Shanghai where we have actually managed to translate the benefits of using Loctite products in repairs and maintenance, into figures.

Equipment in steel industry is subjected to extremely harsh conditions, and with pumps being one of the most expensive elements in the overall equipment, local erosion presents a really serious problem. Life span of the pumps is reduced drastically and pump parts being scrapped early causes considerable expenses.

Repairing the pumps (and other) parts with Loctite products prolonged their service lives multiple times and saved tens of thousands of euros in energy consumption for Baoshan Iron and Steel Co.. The efficiency of the vacuum pumps was doubled and there were no new repairs needed on them within the next 2-4 years. Feel free to browse through further details.

 

2 component adhesives – secret is in the mixing

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Epoxy mixing article blog

The most typical examples of 2-component adhesives are epoxies (and as of recently, hybrid adhesives) which combine properties of epoxies and cyanoacrylates). Epoxies come in a really wide variety of pack sizes and shapes: from little dual syringes with only millilitres of adhesive in them, all the way to buckets and pails that can contain up to dozens of kilograms of each component.

Much like with cooking, it takes a bit of patience to work the magic and get your two components to merge thoroughly in a chemical reaction that will result in a reliable and durable adhesive. Let’s take the simplest example where mixing ratio is 1:1. It means that each molecule in component A needs one molecule in component B to pair with. Think of it like a dating party to which you invite the same number of men and women and then some of the women don’t turn up. The men that end up without partners may become rather frustrated and will be likely to cause some trouble.

In the same way, if the mixing isn’t thorough enough the adhesive will not cure properly, nor will it develop all the properties it should. It can remain gel-like and the final strength can be reduced leading to risk of failure of the bonded part.

To make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s best to follow a few basic rules:

  • Make sure to follow the prescribed mixing ratio religiously. This is easier when dispensing from a syringe with a static mixer because the dosing of components happens automatically as you press out the product.
  • When dispensing from a syringe with a static mixer, discard the first few centimetres of dispensed material to secure that the mixing starts properly before using the mixture.
  • When mixing components by hand, measure the amounts carefully and always mix a bit longer than advised on the packaging, just to be on the safe side.
  • Observe the colour of the mixture: it has to become uniform all through, with no lighter or darker areas.
  • Never scrape the product off the walls of the mixing container. It’s almost 100% certain that this part of the material hasn’t been thoroughly mixed.

In cases where precision is really of the essence in both mixing and dosing of the applied product, you can always resort to one of the automated solutions or simple equipment pieces that can be of great help.

Think beyond right now when choosing your instant adhesive

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Instant adhesive is something most adhesive manufacturers have in their portfolio, whether it’s just a product or two or, more likely, an entire range. They come in a considerable variety of sizes and formats, and are sometimes marketed more to private consumers while in other cases they are sold strictly to industrial customers.

At the first glance, comparing technical data of several different products, many can appear similar in characteristics, which makes it easy to make the mistake of choosing the cheapest out of the offering. However, it’s really important to keep in mind that:

  1. you don’t purchase the product the moment it leaves the production line, nor will you use it up entirely at the moment you purchase it
  2. the elements you bond together will be in service for a certain amount of time in certain conditions which can affect the properties of the used adhesive

The time an adhesive spends in its bottle between the moment of production and the moment of use can affect different properties. Curing speed is only one of them, but an important one because instant adhesives (it’s all in the name) are often chosen because of the speed at which they cure. Looking at the graphic data below, it’s quite obvious that the level of change in curing speed over time can be very different from product to product. It also shows the level of stability that a reliable brand like Loctite will secure.

graph_CA_curing speed vs age

This is usually the first indication of the product’s stability in its cured form, and of how much you can trust your bond line over time. So, be sure to look at the fine print on the technical data and ask your adhesive expert extra questions, just to be sure.

(Thanks to my colleague Robert Dunkel from Canada for bringing this topic forth!)

Staying in touch

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blog_display bonding

It’s hard to imagine life without smartphones any more. Even though a recent invention, people took to them like fish to water and I would bet anything that you hardly go anywhere without it in your pocket or handbag. Nowadays it’s also a challenge to find a person who doesn’t own a tablet of some sort as well.

Those of you that have been following this blog for sure know by now that there’s some adhesive in it somewhere, otherwise the topic would not come up.

Manufacturers of smartphones, tablets or of anything with a touch screen really, face certain challenges. They are assembling together parts which are really small, often fragile, subjected to heat, moisture or temperature cycling. All of the above already excludes many mechanical joining methods (imagine a phone that had been welded together!!) and poses a rather interesting challenge in front of the mighty adhesives, too.

However, working closely with an adhesive expert in your design phase and selecting products that do meet the requirements, you can ultimately end up with a better product than you expected.

Using the right adhesive in the right place can actually help:

  • Improve viewing experience on your device (by increasing contrast in the sunlight up to 400%)
  • Increase display ruggedness
  • Extend battery life (by reducing light loss due to reflection)
  • Extend display service life
  • Achieve thinner designs

Feel free to explore more, and never hesitate to contact an adhesive expert before making any decisions.

Increase durability and efficiency of your waste water utilities

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Waste water processing plants are something that no city, or large industrial facility like power station, pulp and paper factory or steel plant, can go without. If one went out of function, it would catch everyone’s attention very quickly and most likely lead to significant losses in downtime, penalties or health and safety issues.

One of the main materials that make parts of a waste water utility plant is concrete. Concrete is seen by most people as a very durable material, and that’s fundamentally true, but it’s far from being absolutely resistant to damages. Most usual kinds of damages that can occur on concrete are mechanical and chemical.

Waste water facilities are made of concrete and metal almost in their entirety. Both materials are prone to wear, while metal is additionally threatened by corrosion. The wear damage is caused by abrasive particles flowing through the plant or chemicals used in the pre-treatment and exploitation processes, and can happen in different parts of the facility. From influent structures through grit chambers – which are especially exposed to highly abrasive grit that can damage the pumps – to centrifuges which are the heart of any such facility.

Replacement of some of these parts is certainly an option, but nowadays there are very efficient ways not only to rebuild and repair damaged parts, but also to protect them (whether as new or after repair) and minimize the effects of future wear, increasing reliability,  extending their service life and decreasing the capital and operational expenditures.

Several waste water facilities in Hungary and Bulgaria already gave these benefits a try and were quite pleased with the results. In Hungarian case, the concrete clarifier shoulders was rebuilt and repaired using Loctite PC 7257. The processes took in average 2 days, but the facilities kept running during the repair undisturbed.

In case of the facility in Sofia, clarifier shoulders were protected from chemical damages using the product Loctite PC 7277.

Another high priority challenge of the modern waste water and water supply facilities in achieving high effectiveness, is energy consumption and equipment efficiency. Million cubic meters of water per day are transported by different types and sizes of pumps. Having in mind the total cost of pump ownership, the energy consumption in such a plant can be significant.

graph for waste water article

Using Loctite Polymer Composites for rebuilding, renewing and protecting parts subjected to wear, chemicals or weather conditions, some companies from the industry were able to achieve major equipment efficiency and energy saving improvements. Naturally, the products from this range can be used beyond the waste water processing.

For more about solutions for Waste water facilities, feel free to  browse.

Let there be light!

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Lighting article

It must be one of the things we take for granted the most: lights all around us. We’ve come to take it for granted that our days do not end with the end of the daylight and grown accustomed to just switch on a bunch of miniature (or not so miniature) surrogate suns and just keep on doing whatever we need to do, rarely wondering what it takes to produce them.

Lighting industry is among the ones subject to most increasing regulatory requirements and rising customer expectations. While the customers expect ever improving design and functionality pleasing to the eye, they will also tend to choose products with longer life span and better overall quality. For a manufacturer who wants to achieve all this, but within a reasonable costs and with acceptable impact on the environment, it’s a clear challenge.

Using adhesives and sealants in your manufacturing process can help tackle this challenge. Whether you’re in street lights or residential, industrial or architectural lighting business, there are solutions. And yes, the requirements are numerous, but so are the possibilities. Feel free to explore.