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Industrial adhesives Vs Consumer adhesives

What are industrial adhesives?

How do they differ from consumer adhesives?  Strictly speaking, industrial adhesives are adhesives that are labeled for industrial use.  Various local and global bodies require industrial adhesives to include specific language on each label based on the chemistry.  With all that is required – it doesn’t leave much room for images of a Gorilla, a Sumo Wrestler, or a Rhinoceros on the label.  The differences between consumer and industrial adhesives are much more than just the label.  Generally, adhesive engineering for a specific use, substrates, temperature resistance, and chemical resistance maximizes performance for each application.  We’ve all seen the consumer adhesive ads “bonds everything,” “multi-purpose,” “super strong on everything.”  There is no one type of adhesive that will bond everything, but many of the consumer products are very good and are handy to have around the house for one-off repairs.

Industrial or engineering adhesives, on the other hand, are designed into a manufacturing process for optimal results.  The can improve the quality of the assembly and reduce manufacturing costs.  Here are a few of the specifics adhesive specialists use to determine the best fit.

Substrate –  Off the shelf adhesives are often designed to bond an entire category of substrates – for example, metals or plastics.  When engineering an adhesive into a manufacturing line, the specific metal or plastic along with the surface condition of it will be reviewed.

Temperature – Understanding the application needs for service temperature, peek temperature, thermal cycling, and thermal shock is helpful in choosing the best option.

Chemical – The concentration, temperature, and frequency of chemical exposure affect different types of adhesives differently – reviewing these parameters allows the specialist to select appropriate options.

Joint design – The type of joint design is a significant factor.  Many adhesives may have high shear strength but may have little strength in peel mode.  Knowing what types of stresses and designing the joint accordingly can support the adhesive bond strength.

Desired cure speed/type – Often the desired cure speed is as fast as possible, but at times a slower set time is desired to allow proper alignment of parts.

Once potential adhesives that may suit the application are discussed, thorough testing should be conducted to ensure suitability for the use.