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Where are adhesives used in tools?

Did you know that glues (or more technically referred to, adhesives) are used for all sorts of tool applications?  Anything from bonding handles onto good old screwdrivers to bonding diamond cutting tips on sophisticated mining equipment – and many things in between.

Many power tool manufacturers are using adhesive products within the electronics of power tools such as drills and sanders. Applications include:

  • Wire tacking
  • PCB Bonding
  • SMD Mounting
  • Conformal coating type applications
  • Potting and encapsulation
  • Electric motor magnet bonding
  • Bonding heat sinks
  • Component rigidization
  • Strain relief of cables
  • Battery pack sealing

A day in the life of a power tool

Just imagine life as a drill for example. Slung in the back of a van, rattling around with a motley bunch of grubby looking tools. When you’re used, there is dust going everywhere, getting inside the housing. Lucky for you that your PCB has conformal coating over the top of all the circuit and the components. This helps stop any dust and moisture coming into contact with sensitive components and prevents short circuits.  The amount of vibration you have to cope with is immense – thankfully the SMDs on the circuit board are held on not only by solder but with an adhesive bond as well which helps rigidize the components.

Unfortunately, your owner is a heavy-handed brute who tends to get overheated and throws you down when things don’t go to plan i.e. a hole has been drilled in the wrong place. On a few occasions your motor has seriously overheated – but not to worry, because the magnets within your motor are bonded to the rotor with a high-temperature resistant adhesive that can withstand this abuse. Also the heat sinks work a treat with thermally conductive adhesives helping dissipate the heat between components. Some electronic components have been potted and encapsulated to help protect them.  Even when your lead (cord) gets pulled on, the strain relief system on the cable which has been bonded with high strength adhesive, helps prevent damage to the electronics.

Adhesives for other tool applications

The world’s strongest adhesives are found in tool applications – for things like diamond tip bonding for tooling and bonding tungsten carbide wear tips for mining drills, rasps and files, farming equipment such as ploughs, mining conveyors. These adhesives are often used instead of welding and brazing as the bond allows for better stress distribution and they prevent damage and stress caused to the parent metal from the welding process. They also give 100% seal against the elements and good resistance to impact and vibration.

These application pictures show a chainsaw fuel tank bonded with heat cure epoxy. The adhesive bonds and seals the two halves together (so no need to weld and risk leaks and the finished appearance is much improved).

chain-saw1 chain-saw2

Other, more short-lived applications include bonding abrasive belts for sanders and bonding sanding disks to backing plates. Some applications involve setting abrasive material into epoxy for sanding and abrasion.

735-sanding-belts

For more assistance, please contact Permabond.