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Structural bonding – the hidden costs of ‘instant’ assembly

02 September 2019

To manufacturers, time is money. Their goal is to make manufacturing processes better, faster and more cost effective while preserving the integrity of the assembly process and the quality of the product.

Four major assembly methods exist in today’s manufacturing environment: 

1. Thermal methods such as spot or overlap welding
2. Mechanical fasteners such as bolts, screws or rivets* 
3. Double-sided tapes* 
4. Liquid adhesives 
* Considered ‘instant’ assembly methods 

All four methods are used to varying degrees of effectiveness depending on end-use requirements, along with environmental constraints such as weather, moisture, salt or chemicals. An assessment of the shear strength performance over a 645mm² (25.4 x 25.4mm) fastening area for these assembly methods was carried out. The overlap welds and structural adhesives were the strongest assembly methods available, but strength drops off dramatically using bolts, spot welds, flexible adhesives, blind rivets and double-sided adhesive tape. For some applications, double-sided tape may provide adequate strength, but a blend of adequate strength and lowest overall cost is the target for all applications. 

Read the full article in the September issue of DPA.



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