Stamping Out Adhesive Fungus to Save both Bond and Parts

Posted on 4/2/2020 9:38:27 AM By ASC

From irritating and annoying to downright destructive, fungal growth on adhesives can lead to problems when it comes to electronics and small electrical equipment parts. When the adhesive is not fungus resistant, fungus can affect both the adhesive bond and its surroundings, by breaking the resin in epoxy-based adhesives down into particles which are small enough to allow it access to the carbon in the resin, which it regards as a nutritional source.

Fungus can lead to a series of bad outcomes, according to MasterBond. The molecular degradation which results from the particle breakdown can weaken the core performance of epoxy (and therefore the bond), and so reduce the adhesive’s ability to protect against moisture and chemicals.

As the fungus grows and spreads, it may also build electrical bridges over insulation materials, leading to electrical failures, or fuse together small mechanical parts and restrict their movement. Fungus also tends to attract or add moisture to its living environment which can also negatively impact on the bond.

These problems have driven MasterBond to put six of their fungus resistant adhesives through tests drawn up by the US Defence Department to determine microbial growth in adhesives. The company reports that it was rewarded with winning zeroes on all of them. Compared against a control specimen which registered a high 4 for heavy growth, MasterBond’s MasterSil 151AO; EP36AN; EP39MAOHT; EP3RR-80; EP30LTE-LO; and EP37-3FLFAO; which vary in their applications and qualities, all registered as showing no microbial growth whatsoever. 

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