Got A Glue Problem?

Glue IrelandIs the glue not working?

It is not uncommon for glue users all over Ireland and abroad, to encounter issues.

It is an often encountered issue in cases where customers do not fully understand the importance of the surface onto which they are applying the glue.

It must always be remembered that in order to ensure the formation of high-quality bonds, which offer the utmost of integrity, there are a few parameters which must be considered. The key parameter is the surface of the material which is being glued.

The materials being glued must have good ‘wetting properties’. Wetting properties refer to the ability of an adhesive, to cover the surface and not form beads.

We can see that glass does not have good wetting properties as when water is placed on glass, the water forms beads. However, if water is placed on wood, the water coats the surface….wood has good wetting properties.

Next, the materials being glued should have good bonding properties, there must be good interaction between the adhesive and the surface of the materials being glued. The surface must be clean and free from contamination. There is no point in trying to glue two surfaces together, when one is coated with oil, lubricant or rust

After the materials have been glued together, their glue coated surfaces must not degrade over time. In a damp environement, sand blasted steel will rust, even under a film of adhesive! In gluing rubber onto steel conveyor rollers, the steel rollers are normally sand blasted and soonafter primed with an epoxy primer.

Therefore, many materials, will need some type of surface treatment. What is surface treatment? Surface treatment is a general term for the three types of treatment which a surface may require before an adhesive or indeed sealant, is applied.

Surface preparation refers to cleaning the surface with solvents (degreasing). Surface treatment encompasses all of the mechanical processes such as grinding, and the chemical processes such as  metal chemical etching or plastic flame polishing.

As an example, metals such as mild steel and stainless steel are commonly abraded. Many metals (for example Titanium) generally do require etching. With the exception of plastics such as PVC, plastics require surface treatment. With plastics such as polyethylene, surface treatment is a neccessity. Finally, post-treatment covers the application of surface primers.  Primers are commonly used for gluing many plastics, rubbers, glass and some metals

On the face of it, gluing may appear to be a process which requires little thought. It does require quite an amount of thought but above all, decades of expertise. Here at W.I Polymers, we are recognised as ‘the experts’ in all aspects of adhesives, materials and surface preparation. Our Scientists and Engineers have decades of industrial expertise. Our expertise is second to none…..let your gluing question be our priority