ASSEMBLY: The title of your webcast says that assemblers can save 30 percent on their adhesive bonding costs. Give us a sneak peak.
Rhodes: The main message we want to share in the webinar is the ability of light-curing adhesives to increase the speed of manufacturing, and reduce time spent handling parts that need to be racked or cured in an oven. Every minute an operator spends handling a component costs money. If I had to choose between a two-part adhesive that cures in 5 to 30 minutes vs. a one-part light-curing adhesive that cures in 5 to 30 seconds, I know which one I’d pick.
ASSEMBLY: UV- and visible-light curing adhesives have been around a while now. Why should engineers tune into your webcast?
Rhodes: There are a lot of hybrid systems coming out on the market that people are not aware of yet, such as formulations that cure with both UV light and moisture, or combinations of acrylates and epoxies. We are also seeing a lot of interest in using LEDs for curing adhesives, and we want to educate engineers how these systems work.
ASSEMBLY: For those engineers who may not be that familiar with light-curing adhesives, give us a quick overview of their chief advantages.
Rhodes: One of the primary advantages is the speed of cure. We have applications requiring the adhesive to cure in less than 0.25 second, and everything has to work flawlessly. Having an adhesive or coating that can cure that quickly and be packaged and shipped immediately can be very attractive for just-in-time manufacturing. These materials are solvent-free, environmentally friendly, and bond to a large number of engineering plastics, metals, glass, ceramics, ferrite, the kitchen sink...you name it. We literally can bond and seal fittings for kitchen sinks to create watertight barriers. So when manufacturers throw the kitchen sink at us, we say, “Sure, we can do that.”
ASSEMBLY: When I think of light-curing adhesives, I usually think of acrylics, but a lot more chemistries are available now, aren’t there?
Rhodes: Acrylics make up most light-curing adhesives on the market, but there are some unique applications calling for light-curing epoxies, silicones, urethanes, or acrylic-epoxy hybrid systems. Each chemistry has its own unique advantages. Some new chemistries are truly revolutionary, such as a formulation that changes color from blue to clear when the adhesive has reached full cure.
ASSEMBLY: What applications can benefit from light-curing adhesives?
Rhodes: Wow, where to begin? We talk with customers everyday about applications ranging from cell phones and unmanned aerial vehicles, to insulin pumps, fuel cells and washing machines. Dymax offers adhesives that can bond materials in seconds, coat a circuit board to protect it from the environment, and form gaskets to reduce vibration and rattling.