Nearly all the products in this latest crop of new adhesives target electronic and other components for consumer electronics and automotive assemblies. While several are liquid adhesives, some are designed as alternatives to them and others are liquids that cure faster. Many are aimed at wide operating temperature ranges in the end-application, and several stick well to multiple substrate materials.
The main exception is the highly specialized process invented by Dow Automotive Systems for applying its BETAMATE structural adhesive to car body parts made of multi-material substrates, such as carbon fiber composites and coated metal. The injection bonding technique helps speed the bonding process, critical in automotive assemblies, while also maintaining accuracy, especially in difficult-to-join complex parts.
Demand for adhesives of all kinds is going up everywhere, according to a recent report by market research firm Freedonia Group. The study, World Adhesives & Sealants, says that manufacturing expansions are fueling this growth across several industries, among them electronics and automotive.
Replacement or enhancement of mechanical fasteners is also boosting demand. By weight, global demand for adhesives and sealants is expected to grow by 4.5% between 2014 and 2019, and by 2.9% in North America. Those rates will be outpaced by Africa and the Mideast, where demand will increase by 5.2%, and by the Asia-Pacific region, where it will rise by 5.9%. In that region, China will continue to lead, but the fastest growth will occur in India during that period.
Ann R. Thryft is senior technology editor, materials & assembly, for Design News. She's been writing about manufacturing- and electronics-related technologies for 28 years, covering manufacturing materials & processes, alternative energy, machine vision, and all kinds of communications.