Modern day adhesives, paints, coatings and composites are made through advanced technologies. Several manufacturers develop higher-quality products using modern materials and techniques for more efficient and cost-effective processes, resulting in stronger, lighter, and more reliable products.
For instance, the automotive industry now uses silicone sealants to seal crucial surfaces instead of utilizing gaskets, like valve covers and oil pans, to the engine block. Advances in composite materials are also transforming the way aircraft are designed and constructed in the aerospace industry.
Composite parts and other materials are now bonded together instead of metals being linked with rivets and mechanical fasteners to build stronger, lighter, and higher-performance structures. For medical uses, modern medical devices are being developed for advanced coatings. These coatings are necessary for the safety and comfort of patients.
Using software and electronics to control mechanical processes and advanced communication technology has grown at a nearly exponential rate.
Electronic components manufacturers rely on conformal coating adherence and uniform application, as well as hydrophobic and oleophobic coatings. These methods are friendlier to the environment, prevent corrosion, mould growth, and electrical shorts, among others. Packaging is also an important part of marketing efforts, product development, and consumer safety.
New adhesion challenges have arisen as a result of advancements in polymers, inks, novel packaging design, and packaging equipment. Confidence in adhesive processes and products is required in all production operations. Recent developments in advanced materials or new goods may never reach the market if management lacks confidence in the adhesive process.
- Since the manufacturer is unsure about the bonding, an advanced composite may not be employed.
- Manufacturers who are unable to demonstrate that a coating will be applied uniformly in a crucial application, such as medical devices, maybe not receive the regulatory approval.
- Adhesion failures need management to stop using a certain manufacturing process.
- Electronic parts failure in mechanical machines, whether in cars, planes, or industrial, can result in bodily harm and death.
Every customer has had some sort of adhesion failure, whether it is paint peeling, delamination of glued parts, delamination of electronic boards, ink rubbing off the packaging, fogging of headlights due to moisture ingress, labels peeling, a substandard performance because of uneven coating application, and so on.
To achieve quality production, these applications rely on holistic adhesion process control. It is important to remember that you could not manage what you could not measure to do this properly.
Poor adhesion or coating performance has seven primary causes.
- Since proper adhesion occurs at the first few molecular levels, the quality of any surface cannot usually be judged by the human eye.
- Parts are exposed to environmental pollutants as they move from suppliers to the manufacturing plant, which might affect adhesion.
- The surface condition of materials changes by aging and the environment in which they are stored for manufactured parts.
- Parts can come from a variety of sources and in different conditions. A process to clean the vendor’s parts may not be sufficient to clean the parts from another vendor.
- Most people don’t realize how sensitive surfaces are attracting pollutants that impact adhesion. It is not simply whether something is free of particles. It’s more important to know that the surface is chemically clean. Improper handling, changes in cleaning supplies or protocol, contaminants transferred from other production processes, packaging, transport systems, and other factors can cause contamination to the surface.
- Many product cleanliness criteria simply address particle cleanliness and ignore whether the surface is chemically clean.
- Finally, since the adhesion is responsible and influenced by vendor quality, receiving, parts machining, parts washing, sanding, sealing, and assembly, for example, all share responsibility for the surface condition in an adhesion process.
Reliable Adhesion Needs Precise Control Over 3 Factors
Despite several attempts to permanently overcome the problem, manufacturers have been unable to achieve reliable bonded structures. The core cause of failure is frequently overlooked. A problem may appear to be solved for a short period before reappearing without warning. To achieve consistent, predictable adhesion, three factors must be precisely controlled:
- The adhesive or coating material’s composition.
- The application and drying of adhesives or coatings.
- The properties of the molecular layers of the surface with the adhesive or coating, such as a surface preparation.
To improve composition, adhesive manufacturers impose tighter control over their formulations and manufacturing processes, and ensure the scientific analysis is well performed. As a result, reputable adhesive manufacturers have strong confidence in their glue’s qualities.
Similarly, when it comes to the second factor, manufacturers have a variety of instruments at their disposal to effectively dispense in paints, sealants, coatings, and adhesives. The adhesive manufacturer determines the curing techniques in detail.
Lastly, thoroughly controlling the surface while the adhesion process continues is the most difficult thing for manufacturers to understand and control. This is the least well-understood and managed of the three elements, and as a result, it is frequently the source of issues.
Controlling the surface is challenging because it is influenced by several factors. Control of the top few molecular layers of the surface receiving the adhesive or coating is the least known but most important aspect of adhesion process management.
An adhesion issue is complicated and necessary to control. Scrap, rework, sales returns, warranty claims, product recalls, and production delays are all costs associated with adhesion failure.
Furthermore, there are many hidden expenses because they have been accounted for in cost standards and warranty allowances. Finally, poor product quality results is the ultimate cost, including a loss of client trust and revenue. Above all, adhesion products must be properly controlled and utilized during the manufacturing processes for the quality of products to be ensured.
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