Great overview of adhesives, Ann. I was recently fortunate enough to take a tour of one of the Fabrico facilities, and it's really interesting to see the sophisticated layering process, utilizing adhesives, by which the end products are manufactured and QC's (via machine vision) as they go down the line.
Ann, thanks for the whirlwind tour through the world of fastening. You covered a lot in this article!
My first reaction when you mentioned a shear strength of 1000 psi for a structural adhesive was that it seemed very small compared to the shear strength of a Grade 8 bolt (around 100,000 psi). Then it occurred to me that, with an adhesive, the load can be spread out over a much larger area.
As a rough approximation, for a structural adhesive with a shear strength of 1000 psi, 7.5 square inches of adhesive should be able to withstand the same load as a 3/8-16 Grade 8 bolt. Neat!
Interestingly, although cost is always an issue, most vendors mentioned the differences in function and problems to be solved between fasteners and adhesives. And when it came to cost, what most (adhesives) vendors mentioned regarding the cost differentials had to do with lower cost processes for applying adhesives, not a difference in the cost of materials or the items as such.
Nice article, Ann. I didn't realize the wide range of uses for adhesives. You mention the economic advantages of adhesives in the manufacturing process. I would imagine there is also an economic advantage is the cost of materials. Most mechanical fasteners are probably far more expensive than adhesives.
At this year's MD&M West show, lots of material suppliers are talking about new formulations for wearables and things that stick to the skin, whether it's adhesives, wound dressings, skin patches and other drug delivery devices, or medical electronics.
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