Adhesive technologies continue to advance, giving them the ability to replace mechanical fasteners such as bolts and rivets. Adhesives can also make it simpler to link together disparate materials, something that's sometimes difficult for rivets.
Manufacturers who can replace mechanical fasteners with adhesives are often enthusiastic customers. "Riveting is very-labor intensive, which is especially costly on vehicles that have large skins and use hundreds of rivets," says Steve Ouelette, product manager, Bonding Technologies at Henkel Corp. Adhesives can often replace all but a few rivets, providing significant cost and time savings. Another benefit of adhesives is that there's no chance over-zealous welders will burn through thin skins, he adds.
Two-part adhesives, by virtue of their ambient temperature curing, also save other steps during manufacturing. "Two-part adhesives have strength before they go through painting and other steps, so they don't need the fixturing that one-part adhesives require," Ouelette says.
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