You will find aerospace adhesives throughout the interior, exterior, and engine compartment of aircraft. On everything from the overhead lockers to the handy seat trays and even the in-floor lighting. The engine contains threadlockers, retaining compounds, hydraulic system thread sealants, and structural adhesives. Adhesives bond exterior panels, wing spars, door moldings … and the list goes on.
Many applications call for the aerospace adhesive according to a specification such as a Mil Spec, ASTM, SAE, or an internal company specification, such as a Boeing or Lockheed Martin specification.
Adhesive selection for other aerospace applications is based on the substrates used and the requirements of the bond. So, in short, aerospace adhesives are adhesives for aerospace applications. There is no magic in those adhesives that makes them fly! Many of the adhesives for aerospace applications are the same products found in the automotive industry.
Which are the most common types of aerospace adhesives?
Anaerobics, Structural Acrylics, Epoxies, Cyanoacrylates, as well as adhesive tapes and films, are all common aerospace adhesives.
Threadlocking, retaining, thread sealing, and form in place gasketing are applications for anaerobics. Most of these applications are in the engine compartment. However, threadlockers prevent vibration loosening throughout.
Structural acrylics are ideal for many diverse applications, such as bonding magnets into the electric motors and to attach harness clips.
The need for strength and weight reduction drives the widespread use of adhesives. The same drivers are spurring the use of carbon fiber within aircraft and drones. In addition to Permabond structural acrylics, Permabond ET5428 and ET5429 are ideal for bonding carbon fiber and many other substrates. Lightweight honeycomb edge fillers for bonding composites are often epoxy-based and have a very low density to help keep the plane as light as possible.
Cyanoacrylates permanently bond various items and also act as a processing aid. They instantly hold parts that are being bonded with slower curing adhesives. They are also a quick fix for damaged interior trim (often caused by bored passengers!), taking only seconds to cure. The turnaround time is next-to-nothing.
For further help or to check for aerospace approvals, please contact Permabond.