Why would you want to test the performance of an adhesive bond? What tests are available to do these?

3 min read

If you are a product designer looking to design a new product or try new materials in the manufacturing process, or a production engineer looking to make improvements, then you will relate to this. There can be many drivers for change, included in which are weight, strength, durability and, increasingly, end of life considerations.

So, before you commit to a specification, it is essential that it has been proved that the materials will work, and that the bond will too.

More and more manufacturers understand the benefits of specific adhesive testing when looking to use an adhesive within their component, whether it be the first time of using an adhesive within their assembly process, or they are a long-term advocate of adhesive usage within their product. Typical questions asked are.

How will the adhesive bond resist the stresses and strains it will live through during its life?

How will the adhesive bond operate at the higher temperatures it will see during its life?

How will the effect of temperature increases have on the bonded joint containing two different substrates?

How will the bonded assembly resist the impact loads expected during Its life?

How will the bond perform over the component’s life, what longevity has the adhesive?

Specific adhesive testing proves the adhesive strength, temperature resistance, fatigue/impact resistance together with longevity of the adhesive bond. These tests are to official standard bodies, DIN, ASTM, ISO etc. This selection of testing being specific to the adhesive helps Engineers and Designers predict the strength of a component they are designing, the failure of the product, where and how this would happen, under which loads, temperatures/strengths etc within their component.

In the near three decades Advanced Adhesives have been supplying adhesives into OEM`s here in the UK and overseas, we have built a strong reputation for adhesive and application knowledge. We also understand the testing requirements that customers need to make them feel comfortable in the use of adhesives in their product. “The testing we carry out for our customers is the cotton wool we wrap them in to allow them to sleep at night understanding their components are bonded with the correct adhesive, and won’t fail due to wrong adhesive selection, joint design or material failure” says Advanced Adhesive Applications Specialist Graham Crozier.

“A lot of new innovations and practices stem from the automotive sector,” Crozier says,” and the testing that was carried out within the automotive sector with adhesive applications is now replicating itself into mainstream manufacturers. Having worked in the automotive industry for many years Advanced Adhesives have been involved in many arduous applications and testing procedures and have invested heavily, north of £150K, with in house testing equipment and launched our `Applications Centre` last year to increase the industry specific testing we deliver to our customers. “

Within the `Applications Centre` Tensometer, Ageing Chambers, High Temperature Ovens, Sub-Zero Freezers, Impact Tester are a few of the adhesive testing equipment housed in the on-site centre. Testing is not only just carried out on lap shears but on the specific customer components themselves to `prove` the adhesives are fit for purpose in customers components.

Tensometer, this tests the strength of components, testing to ISO Standard for static sheer, tensile loads and `T` Peel loading to ensure the adhesive is stronger than the components themselves.

Climatic Chambers, again testing to ISO Standard, the components are aged to a 10 and 20 year old component in a short space of time with temperature and humidity cycling. Thereafter components are again strength tested to ensure the adhesive has not lost strength over this ageing period and that the bond it is still stronger than the components.

High Temperature Testing Oven, this piece of equipment is used to test bonded assemblies, under load, to +200°C, in tensile and peel load for time periods up to 1,000 hours, again to ensure the components and the adhesive will survive.

Sub Zero Freezer, again this piece of equipment tests at extremes of temperature, -60°C and again with components under load if necessary.

Impact tester, this piece of equipment replicates impact loads components are expected to endure during life. Testing the bonded materials to failure to understand the level of impact a bonded assembly can take before any failure.

“Understanding how industry was progressing, Advanced Adhesives invested heavily in the ‘Applications Centre` test equipment, methodology and understanding.” There is an excellent opportunity for prospective customers to see how they can make best use of this impressive in house facility. “That way, we enable these expert engineers and managers to keep ahead of the game, allowing us to provide them with that “cotton wool” as well as excellent bonds. We look forward to receiving their enquiries and delivering our solutions.”