Assembly In Action: Adhesives Put Satellite Manufacturer in the Driver’s Seat
KVH Industries Inc. knows that people love to be entertained in their vehicles. This is why they developed the TracVision satellite communications system about 10 years ago.
TracVision can provide hundreds of channels of live satellite television and music to cars, motor coaches, RVs or boats.
The most recent version of the system is the A7. Assembling the antenna for the A7 posed an adhesive-related challenge for KVH.
The company needed two distinct adhesives. One had to hold together two tough-to-bond plastics and dry quickly so the materials would be held in perfect alignment. The second adhesive had to provide a radio frequency shield and be electrically conductive.
Based in Middletown, RI, KVH turned to a local company—Epoxies Etc. of Cranston, RI—for help in selecting the right adhesives for the application.
“They were very responsive and quickly developed the specialty products we needed,” says Mark Larson, an engineer at KVH.
The bonding adhesive is a two-part structural epoxy called 10-3046, which comes in a 50-milliliter cartridge and is applied with a manual dispensing gun. Clear in color, the epoxy has a viscosity of 12,000 centipoise at 25 C and a lap shear strength of 3,500 psi.
The mix ratio of the epoxy is 1-to-1, and its volume resistivity (at 25 C) is 2 x 1014 ohms per centimeter. The epoxy has a dielectric constant of 4.0 at 25 C and 1 kilohertz.
The electrically conductive adhesive Epoxies Etc. developed is a one-component polymer, 40-3920, that must be applied via a three-axis robotic dispensing system.
“Its ability to keep a small bead is critical,” says Larson.
The adhesive has electrical resistivity of 0.0002 ohm per centimeter and a viscosity of 9,000 centipoise at 25 C. Silver in color, the adhesive is packaged in 16-ounce jars and requires no mixing.
KVH is pleased with the performance of both adhesives. “The materials guarantee that our antenna has a tremendous success rate,” says Larson.
For more information on structural and electrically conductive adhesives, call 800-376-9437 or visit www.epoxies.com.