Polyurethane adhesives aren’t just construction adhesives

Laurie Gibbons
Adhesive Types, Polyurethane Adhesives
August 4, 2016

Two component polyurethane adhesives bond materials with different flexibility or different thermal coefficients of expansion, including glass to metal, fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) to metal, and aluminum to steel. This is surprising to many people because polyurethane adhesives have a fantastic reputation as wood bonding adhesives. They are not ONLY construction adhesives but specialty adhesives that are polyurethanes and find uses in many industries.

Following are a few diverse applications I’ve seen recently for polyurethane specialty adhesives.

Trailer Truck Panel Bonding and Office Furniture Bonding

Permabond’s two component polyurethanes are ideal for bonding thin metal or laminate panels as they provide excellent strength with very low shrinkage. The low shrinkage allows bonding without show-through or read-through. The fact that the adhesive bond line isn’t visible from the reverse side of the panel is a very desirable feature.

Medical Devices

Polyurethanes are a process aid in the manufacture of prosthetics during the ‘build-up’ phase. The process is sped up for the patient and the prosthetist by the short gel time.

Carbon Fiber Automotive Components

Preformed bonnet (hood) shells are bonded with PT326 As a glue guru – I tend to ramble on about strength, durability, temperature resistance etc.… however, in addition to those attributes, the feature many carbon fiber bonding customers rave about is the color.


Polyurethane adhesives are often chosen for potting sensitive electronic components. Like in panel bonding, the low linear shrinkage prevents damage to the components during cure.

Heat Exchangers

Unlike the small delicate electronic parts noted above, Heat exchanger potting areas can be quite large. Although for many types of heat exchangers, epoxies are preferred, potting large areas with epoxy can be problematic due to the shrinkage causing the walls of the pot to deform.

Sports Equipment

Thanks to its high impact strength and vibration resistance, PU adhesive is ideal for bonding a wide variety of composites materials found in the sports equipment industry – e.g. for rackets, posts, kiteboards, and kayaks to name a few.


Different two component polyurethane adhesives can set quickly to allow for high speed production. Or to set slowly to allow time to dispense over a large area.

In summary, specialty polyurethane adhesives are ideal for various industrial applications and for a large variety of substrates. I guess we can consider specialty polyurethanes construction adhesives; it is simply a matter of what you are constructing.

For further help and advice, please contact Permabond.

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