Design Decisions: An Update on Instant Adhesives

Posted on 9/19/2012 8:20:47 AM By Robert Davis, Henkel Corp. via

Instant adhesives, made of cyanoacrylates, have come a long way. The advantages of cyanoacrylates are easy to see: They can be applied and remain workable, then cure in seconds when compressed between surfaces at room temperature and ambient moisture. In addition, they are single-component adhesives, so no mixing is required. Modern instant adhesives have been designed to overcome early issues, such as peel strength, and are available to varied formulas to suit specific needs. Some formulas are available that will provide a fast, strong bond on traditionally challenging surfaces such as acidic surfaces, particularly dry surfaces, and materials including plastics, elastomers, and metals. Other formulas offer increased impact strength and the ability to withstand vibration.  These products are less brittle when cured and are particularly well-suited for sporting goods. Alternately, there are cyanoacrylates that will provide a relatively flexible joint, which is more suitable for medical equipment where a hard-edged adhesive could cut into a softer substrate, such as flexible tubing.

Modern instant adhesives can be used in processes from manufacture of automobiles, medical equipment, electronics, home fixtures, toys, and packaging, to daily at-home use in repairs or DIY projects. When selecting the best instant adhesive, consumers should keep three factors in mind: what characteristics are required for the finished bond, what materials are being bonded, and how well will the adhesive fit into the assembly process?