Adhesives and their applications

In summary, glues such as araldite, RTV, loctite, superglue, and dymax have various applications and properties. Superglue, or cyanoacrylate, is used for high strength and quick curing, but is not suitable for impact or shock resistance. Epoxy resins, like Araldite, offer high strength and low volumetric change during curing, but require surface preparation for a good bond. Loctite, also a cyanoacrylate, is commonly used for thread-locking applications. RTV, or room temperature vulcanizing, is often used for sealing and filling gaps. Dymax is a brand that may be used for similar purposes as Araldite.
  • #1
Could anyone give me a brief overview of glues such as araldite, RTV, loctite, superglue and dymax.

I'm after typical applications, what they're good for and what they're bad for.

At work RTV is tended to be used for a filler or mechanical glue, loctite is for locking screws and araldite is used on PCB's and keying surfaces.

I'd like to be able to get as much info as possible but the net only offers suppliers not datasheets.
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  • #2
What kind of thing are you after specifically?

If you're searching the internet, you might have more success if you don't use tradenames (for Araldite use epoxy resin, for loctite use cyanoacrylate etc).

Generally, superglues (cyanoacylate) are used where high strength is an issue. They are very quick curing, and are activated (as I recall) by surface moisture. They have very poor properties regarding impact and shock considerations, and do not fill gaps well, - materials to be joined should have a good fit-up. If you ever want to stick your eyes together, cyanoacrylates are the way to go.

Epoxy resins (such as Araldite) are a very broad class of adhesives. Advantages include a high strength, and very low volumetric change during the curing process. One major disadvantage is the high degree of surface preparation which is often required to ensure a good bond. Some formulations have good oil resistant characteristics, some are hard enough to be machined, some are acid or UV resistant. Generally there are two types: single and double part epoxies. The single part epoxies are issued to the application, and are then 'activated' by physical means, - usually temperature or UV, although some work like cyanoacrylates and activate by surface moisture. The double part epoxies require mixing prior to application, - a chemical catalyst promotes the crosslinking reaction. Epoxy resins make reasonably good fillers. Have you seen that "metal putty" stuff? That's a type of epoxy resin, I think.

Loctite, - a trademark for cyanoacrylate, is often used in thread-locking applications because of its high strength, - fasteners are then readily disassembled by applying shock to break the adhesion.

I don't know much about RTV, I'm pretty sure it's elastomer based with special applications in sealing. I'd think there would be different formulations based upon filling characteristics and resistance to particular fluids. Flexibility is almost certainly an issue here too. Silicone sealant seems to be of this type, if you want to make a lot of mess in a very short space of time, silicone sealant is the way to go (providing you can still see...).

I've never heard of Dymax.
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  • #3
Thank you very much for your info, its given a great insight and start point, and perhaps a better way of finding them on the net. :smile:

I'm actually a quality engineer and need to have an appreciation of different materials, one I'd like to learn more about is adhesives.

With regards to applications I was referring to how they are used not necessarily how they are applied.

As I said, loctite is used for locking screws, we use superglue for lacing knots (thread). RTV we use to fill gaps, such as chips in glass fibre type material and also as potting for connector assemblies, encasing, etc. It's also a favourite to prevent moisture ingress for example as a result of humidity testing or salt fog testing.

Araldite we use to re-adhere pads or IC legs to a PCB. I think its used to hold down wire links also. I was once asked if Dymax could be used instead as it apparently cures quicker, maybe they're the same thing different manufacturer.

I'd have to raid our toxic cupboard to see if any others are used.

Your post highlighted somethings I want to look at, for example, what they are typically used for, cure times, materials used on, strength (malleable?, resistance to shock?), resistive properties (water, oil, electrical)

I'll have a go at those scientific names.
  • #4
Just to give you an idea just how broad this field is, here's a list of 113 different types of Araldite along with their data sheets! Remember that all these 113 are Araldite, and that's just one of the many trademarked brands available.
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1. What are adhesives and how do they work?

Adhesives are substances that are used to bond two or more surfaces together. They work by creating a strong bond between the surfaces, often through chemical reactions or physical interactions. Adhesives can be either natural or synthetic and come in various forms such as liquid, solid, or tape.

2. What are the different types of adhesives and their applications?

There are many different types of adhesives, including epoxies, cyanoacrylates, polyurethanes, and hot melt adhesives. Each type has its own unique properties and is suitable for different applications. For example, epoxies are commonly used in construction and automotive industries, while cyanoacrylates are used for bonding small objects and in medical applications.

3. How do I choose the right adhesive for my project?

Choosing the right adhesive depends on several factors, such as the materials you are bonding, the conditions the bond will be exposed to, and the desired strength of the bond. It is important to carefully consider these factors and consult with an adhesive expert to determine the best adhesive for your specific project.

4. Can adhesives be used for structural bonding?

Yes, some adhesives can be used for structural bonding, meaning they can create a strong and durable bond between two load-bearing surfaces. However, it is important to choose an adhesive that is specifically designed for structural bonding and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully to ensure a secure bond.

5. Are there any precautions I should take when using adhesives?

Yes, it is important to always follow the manufacturer's instructions when using adhesives. Wear protective gear, such as gloves and eye protection, and work in a well-ventilated area. Adhesives can also be flammable, so it is important to keep them away from heat sources. If using solvent-based adhesives, it is important to handle them with caution and dispose of them properly.

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