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How can the use of adhesives in the manufacturing process impact sustainability?

Author : Jean-François Chartrel, Bostik Engineering

07 September 2021

Sustainability is a big word – and a key driver for every manufacturing business. But sustainability means different things to different people.

To some it means reducing the use of potentially harmful chemicals in the manufacturing process; to others, it means reducing the manufacturing time and improving efficiency; to another group, it may mean reducing the number of parts, especially plastic, and improving their carbon footprint.
So how does the choice of adhesives affect sustainability at potentially every level?
Adhesive manufacturing

One of the key factors is how the adhesive itself is manufactured. ‘Traditional’ methods of manufacturing face a number of challenges. Typically, they consume large amounts of energy and generate high levels of waste. Controlling potentially harmful emissions is similarly an issue. New manufacturing processes have been developed that overcome these issues and more.
Latest techniques, including those used in the manufacture of MECA (methoxyethyl cyanoacrylate)-based adhesives, for example, have no such issues. The process consumes considerably less energy than conventional manufacturing techniques, while delivering a higher yield (estimated at between 95 percent and 98 percent on average) and creating less waste. It is also a much ‘cleaner’ process, allowing for far greater control of emissions.
Faster curing times

The performance of the adhesive is also important. A product with a faster curing time (but without sacrificing performance) enables the manufacturing process to become more efficient. 
When it comes to cyanoacrylate (CA) adhesives specifically, new, patented ‘light cure’ technology is certainly helping in this regard. Conventional UV technology requires at least one transparent surface to cure, which means it is not effective on non-transparent materials, limiting its application. New ‘dual-cure’ technology, however, is different; it has two curing mechanisms, combining light (UV) and contact (humidity)...

Read the full article in DPA's September issue

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