01 January 2013
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Light cure adhesive is reliable and inexpensive

In adhesive technology terms, the medical device sector is like no other. Seldom is it simply a case of specifying an off-the-shelf adhesive to do the job.

A total solution from the adhesive manufacturer is considered essential, one that takes the customer stage by stage through process design, product specification, testing and beyond.

This may include providing expert help on joint design and support through initial trials. The development of adhesives with specific characteristics is often needed. And then the optimum dispensing and curing system must be identified. It is a complex process and typically time-to-production can take six months to five years. Henkel has considerable experience in this field.

One application proved uncharacteristically uncomplicated however thanks to Henkel's wide ranging applications experience and its medically approved products. When the Medical Packaging Corporation (MPC) developed an innovative new product, Henkel was able to recommend a Loctite light curing adhesive that was available off-the-shelf. It could also be automatically dispensed directly on MPC's existing equipment.

To manufacture this new product economically yet ensure its dependability, MPC realised that the internal swab had to be reliably bonded to the inside of the tube. In addition, the interface of the swab shaft, the protective tube and the reagent bulb had to be leak-proof.

The tolerance of the swab extrusion and the blow-moulded tube were incompatible for an interference fit but Henkel had the solution. It recommended a single product to bond both surfaces: a one-component, low viscosity adhesive that cures rapidly to form a flexible transparent bond when exposed to an ultraviolet source.

Paul Gay


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