Partnering with leading global pipeline repair specialist, to combat asset failures

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MRO stands for Maintenance Repair & Overhaul. Repair being the least desired of the three. The usual goal of people looking after maintenance of plants and equipment is to achieve such level of reliability where needs for repair don’t actually occur and all servicing is happening in the pre-scheduled overhaul. And Loctite Adhesives and sealants are often a part of maintenance engineers’ toolboxes in almost every industry you can think of. Their proactive use can reduce & eliminate chronic equipment failures, decrease repetitive daily maintenance activities or increase equipment up-time.

In this continuous quest to prevent chronic failures, Loctite partners with top global maintenance service providers to help industries around the world decrease expenses in their down time.

Recently, such a partnership was established with Hydratight, a global leader in bolted joint solutions and pipeline repairs. For one of their contracts, a repair of a large petrol vessel, Hydratight proposed Loctite Composite-System Pipe Repair as the solution to reduce costs and avoid a plant shutdown. The project was completed within the required schedule and the plant could remain in operation.

The video below shows how this repair works under burst test.

If you would like to see more about this specific Hydratight application itself, please see Timely Vessel Repair at a Petrochem Plant by Hydratight | English | Hydratight

Additionally, the LOCTITE composite repair has been used by major Oil & Gas companies to provide a high performance maintenance solution to pipelines with defects and wall thinning, to avoid the need for full replacement of the steel pipe. The Loctite Composite System Pipe Repair is used at temperatures up to + 130 °C in industries like upstream, downstream Oil & Gas production, refineries and chemical processing plants etc. This proactive maintenance measure allows plant operators to avoid downtime due to leaks and minimize economic losses in conjunction with their ongoing inspection for asset integrity.

To write about the pandemic, or not to write about the pandemic

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Honestly, I’m still in two minds as I type… Everyone’s talking about it, everyone’s tired of it, everyone wants to hear just one single piece of news related to it – that it’s finally over. But it’s unfortunately not.

And while, normally, in these articles I get very technical, at this point I feel the need to get very human about it all. This situation is new to everybody and everyone is just trying to find the balance between staying safe and healthy, protecting their families and loved ones, keeping their businesses (or businesses that employ them) healthy & running – and staying sane in the midst of it all.

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In our line of work, we are used to being available to our customers with advice, technical support, turning up on site in their production plants, dealing with their technical issues as if they were our own, feeling a part of their maintenance or design engineering teams, frowning together upon attempts that don’t work out and high-five-ing each other in triumph over the ones that do.

Evidently, we are currently not able to do that in the same old way we were used to. And that puts us in front of so many questions. How much do we call and stay in touch? How much is too much? Are our customers aware we are there for them even if we are not physically present? Which digital tools to make available for them to feel as comfortable as possible in our long distance cooperation?

 

Sounds a bit like that early stage of dating, doesn’t it, when you watch carefully who called / texted last and how badly misconstrued it may be if one person insists on contact more than the other. 😊

Clearly, as I’ve gotten this far, I must have resolved my dilemma from the title, as it’s pretty obvious I am writing about this. I guess what I’m trying to say is, that at the end of the day the communication tools don’t matter (whatever technically works and is available is just fine), the frequency of contact is likely to matter some. But both only matter if there is substance behind the exchanged content. And much like in dating, in business too, only those relationships will survive that had substance and quality before all hell broke loose.

To conclude, before I get too soppy and poetic: we are here for you! If we can help and support in any way that is within our expertise, don’t hesitate at all to reach out to us. Meanwhile, we will check in once in a while, sometimes to see if there’s anything we can do, sometimes just to hear – that all’s good and you’re doing fine.

Bonding instead of drilling

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Might not sound like a logical dilemma but bear with me.

Let’s say you’re manufacturing something out of metal. To make sure this metal stays rust-free and protected from different external influences, it’s most likely going to be mechanically and chemically treated, before it’s finally painted with either powder or liquid paints – for protection and aesthetic reasons.

Out of such metal parts, you may manufacture different things: washing machines, fridges, coat hangers, or like in our video – electrical cabinets.

In many cases, like in the video example, you may need to attach something to the metal parts and that something can be made of different materials. Composite materials and plastics are two of the most common materials that turn up in many industries, although it can also be another metal or the same type of metal as the original parts.

The usual method to do this is to drill holes in the metal part and attach other materials using bolts. The problem with drilling is that it’s loud and messy, leaving behind the debris that needs to be cleaned up, which makes it very time consuming, too.

When we’re talking about electrical cabinets specifically, the metal debris is a double problem – the already mentioned mess it makes is one thing, but even more importantly, tiny metal pieces can easily stay behind somewhere, escaping the cleaning and later on cause short circuits (being metal and electrically conductive) and with that various malfunctions. And that’s certainly not something you want on electrical equipment, both: from functionality and safety aspect.

Additionally, with every hole you drill, you’re risking paint damage around the drilling point and with each and every drilling point you are creating a potential starting point for rust.

Alternatively, you can choose to bond your parts. Loctite HY 4070 or Loctite HY 4090 do (depending on the application requirements) the trick with just a few drops. They are applied quickly, no clean-up is necessary afterwards and already within maximum 2 – 6 minutes (less if there’s no gap filling between the parts) they will fixture and you can proceed with your manufacturing process.

Have a look at the video to see the two methods compared.

A low cost repair for not such a low cost bike-holder, or: do you trust a few drops of glue to carry your 800 eur bike!

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Like in most well-connected teams, we like to challenge each other here at Loctite. So whenever a new range of products is launched, the enthusiasts among us tend to compete in finding applications for them outside of what just our customers need.

Thule_4070 repairThat’s exactly how this example came about. One of the colleagues repaired a bicycle holder which would cost 150 euro if he was going to buy a new one. There were two cracks in it, the length of about 20 cm. Instead of buying a new holder, he used Loctite HY 4070 on it and immediately bragged about it, of course. Much as I was happy for a great repair example, the engineer in my wanted hard evidence, so I told him to come back to me when he’s put the holder through some good use. And he did! A few months and 1500 km later, the holder still holds and carries a bike of a sky-high value all over Europe. Which in itself shows the trust in the repair and in the adhesive used. And it only took a few euros worth of Loctite HY 4070.

 

Adhesive generated heat & universal bonders alternative

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Some of you may be familiar with the fact that most of epoxy based 2-component adhesives create an exothermic reaction as the two components are mixed together. The heat generated this way is proportional to the amount of adhesive being mixed. This may be problematic for three main reasons.

First, the temperatures developed in such a reaction are more than high enough to cause serious burn injuries to the operator if all safety procedures are not carefully observed.

Second, increased heat accelerates the reaction leading to a premature cure and decreased working time or a so called: runaway reaction.

Third, the generated heat can cause damage to bonded parts.

One way around this is to mix smaller quantities of adhesive little by little as they are being used. This, however, can complicate and prolong the entire manufacturing or repair process, so it’s not always the best option. Additionally, mixing less product at a time doesn’t really help in case of risk to damaging the parts.

This doesn’t have to mean that bonding is still not an option. There is now a line of so called Loctite universal bonders – patented hybrid technology. When it comes to structural bonding, they are a valid and in many cases, better alternative to epoxies.

Loctite HY 4070 hardly develops any heat at all during mixing because it does not contain an epoxy component but is a hybrid of cyanoacrylate and acrylic.

Loctite HY 4090 on the other hand, even though it has an epoxy component, due to the cyanoacrylate component in the material, is self-limiting the temperature developed during mixing and poses none of the above mentioned risks.

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In addition to that, while epoxies are quite limited to only certain types of substrates, with the universal bonders you can bond a number of completely different materials with very different properties. They fixture between 2 and 6 minutes, develop high strength bonds and withstand the temperatures up to between 120 0C and 150 0C once cured.

They are also much safer to handle than epoxies, which is an increasingly important fact for the conscientious employers.

More on universal bonders can be found on our website.

4 main reasons to use a Loctite universal bonder instead of a Polyurethane

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1. To dispense a PU adhesive, you need additional tools like handguns. Loctite HY 4070 comes in a ready to use packaging, dispensing the adhesive directly.


2. PU needs at least 4 minutes to fixture, while Loctite HY 4070 fixtures within 2 and builds up strength fast!


3. In case you’re bonding dissimilar materials, PU just won’t work because it’s only suitable for a limited number of substrates.


4. Once it’s in your toolbox, it’s likely to replace several other adhesives you may have been using previously because it performs universally well on the high number of typically used materials.


If you are one of those people who prefer to rely on picture rather than words, have a look.

What makes LOCTITE Universal Bonders safer to use than epoxies

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Adhesives are liquid or gel substances in their uncured state and consist of organic compounds. Depending on the adhesive technology, the chemical compound contained in the adhesive may be potentially harmful to human body, animals and the environment in its uncured state. Which is why a certain amount of caution is needed handling them and exact safety measures must be observed.

If handled incorrectly, they can cause unpleasant consequences such as rash, redness, and burning and itching of the skin. Some people can have allergies and be overly sensitive to some of the substances in the adhesive.

This is particularly true in case of epoxy adhesives, which are used very often in general industry. For high-strength, temperature-resistant, structural bonds, they are indispensable. And until recently, there really was no alternative option.

Until a range of universal bonders was launched under the Loctite brand, based on patented Hybrid technology which offers structural strength and curing speed, without the unwanted risks.

Universal bonders combine different chemistries taking the best and the least harmful out of epoxies, acrylics and cyanoacrylates and creating the adhesives which are strong, fast, high temperature resistant, work on most substrates and – are the safest option to work with.

In case you’re curious to find out more, have a look at our website.

5 main reasons to use a Loctite universal bonder instead of an epoxy

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1. Most epoxies come in packaging that requires additional mixing containers and hand mixing of the two components. This can be messy and time consuming an requires attention to not mixing more product at one time than can be used within the working life of the mixture. Loctite universal bonders, like HY 4070, come with in a ready to use packaging with a mixing nozzle that does the mixing job as you work. This also makes applying the product that much simpler and faster and much less messy.


2. In case you’re bonding dissimilar materials, epoxies just won’t work because each substrate will likely require a different type of epoxy. On plastics, epoxies generally perform very poorly.


3. Most epoxies, even those from the 5-minute category, take much longer than 5 minutes to really fixture. Loctite HY 4070 fixtures within 2 and builds up strength fast!


4. While epoxies take quite long to build up strength, with the universal bonders this is much faster, allowing you to continue handling the bonded parts and continuing your process much sooner.


5. Once it’s in your toolbox, a universal bonder is likely to replace several other adhesives you may have been using previously because it performs universally well on the high number of typically used materials.

If you are one of those people who prefer to rely on picture rather than words, have a look.

 

Where Universal Bonders 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 Universal Bonders 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.

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.

Universal Bonders tackle this challenge because they adhere well to a huge multitude of substrates and withstand well the majority of mentioned factors. Additionally, they fixture much faster than the closest competing technology, allowing you to get on with your manufacturing process sooner. For example, a 5-minute epoxy will usually take much longer than 5 minutes to fixture, while Loctite HY 4070 (Hybrid based Universal Bonder) will fixture in up to 2 minutes.

Bonding of dissimilar substrates is most often a requirement in the production of indoor and outdoor signage and advertising elements, (you can see an example in video 1 below), 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 the hybrid 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 Universal Bonder 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.

The Universal Bonders or: hybrid technology explained

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Like many other human inventions, hybrid adhesives came to be as a reaction to the need or, if you will, a problem that needed to be solved. Generally, in the world of bonding there are two main sides of what adhesives can do. On one side there are instant adhesives, based on cyanoacrylate technology, which are easy to use, bond really fast and are therefore known also in consumer, household use and by do it yourself-ers as the so called super-glue. They have their rightful place also in engineering, due to their safe and simple use, quick curing and high performance on plastics which are nowadays one of the most common materials in industrial use. However, they lack in flexibility and gap filling properties.

On the other end of the scale, are so called structural bonders. In terms of chemistry, they can be epoxy, acrylic, polyurethane, silicone or SMP (silane modified polymer) based. Their strongest traits are, apart from excellent structural performance that gives the range the name, high gap filling properties, excellent performance on metals and environmental durability.

From everything said, it’s fairly obvious that the two ranges of adhesives will be used in practically opposite situations. But naturally, the engineering reality doesn’t always fall into one of these two extremes. There are certainly cases when you might need to fill a small gap, while you still need the adhesive to cure fairly quickly. Plastic does not always get bonded to other plastics, sometimes you need to bond it to a metal or a composite material, and you’ll need your part to be durable and resistant to environmental influences.

This reality is what the chemists in Loctite research & development had in mind when they created the first hybrid adhesive, and later on the entire Universal Bonders range.

Whether you’re looking for an alternative for an epoxy or an acrylic, whether it’s for improving your designs and manufacturing processes or simply in repairs, one of the Universal Bonders is highly likely to fit the bill.