Composites require new methods of bonding or joining (beyond traditional mechanical and thermal methods) to allow for design and performance optimisation. Fortunately, advances in structural adhesives (such as epoxies, acrylics, and urethanes) have enabled designers to create products meeting structural integrity requirements without the use of mechanical fasteners, rivets, or welding.
Additionally, these structural adhesives work well with multiple substrates including plastics, metals, and composites without sacrificing performance properties. Even Low Surface Energy (LSE) plastics, such as thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO), polypropylene (PP), and polyethylene (e.g. HDPE), which in the past had to be mechanically attached or heat welded, can now be bonded with specialty structural adhesives.
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Chris Freebody is a 3M Application Engineering Specialist with 20 years of engineering experience. He is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and has a degree in Mechanical Engineering with Automotive Design. His role involves working with a wide range of customers, to find the right solutions for their bonding and joining needs.
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