Learn how to get the best results when gluing composites. In this article, we explore the most reliable adhesives for bonding composites.
How To Glue Composites (Complete Guide)?
What is a composite?
A composite is a material made up of a combination of components. By combining two or more elements, composite materials benefit from greater strength, durability, efficiency or flexibility compared to their individual components.
Composites are manufactured using various methods, such as adding particles and fibers or using different structuring techniques.
What are the main applications of composites?
Compounds are used in various industries for different applications including:
- Aerospace: in wings, fuselages and cryogenic tanks.
- Chemical – in pipes, tanks and water treatment equipment.
- Automotive and electric mobility: on body panels, frames and brakes.
- Marina – in interior moldings, keels and arches.
- Energy: in turbine blades, fuel cells and oil elevators.
- Rail – interior, rails and platforms.
- Architecture – on roofs, windows and pipes.’
How to glue composites?
Traditional joining techniques, such as welding or mechanical fastening, often damage and weaken composite materials. As a result, adhesives have been the bonding agent that has revolutionized the use of composites in industries such as aerospace, automotive, wind and rail.
Bonding composites offers advantages such as uniform load distributions, shock absorption, high strength-to-weight ratio, reduced galvanic corrosion, improved aesthetics and the bonding of different substrates.
As long as you take the necessary precautions, using adhesives to join composite materials can give you a product that is strong, lightweight and has an aesthetic finish.
Adhesives for bonding composites
To choose the right adhesive for your needs, it helps to know three things about your chosen material. These are the modulus, cohesive strength requirement, and superimposed shear value; All this will make it possible to determine the compatibility of the combination of materials and adhesives.
It is essential that the stresses present in composite joints do not exceed the capabilities of the adhesive.
Generally speaking, however, different types of adhesives suit different applications. These types are explored below.
Epoxy adhesives such as Araldite are the most commonly used adhesives for composite bonding due to their excellent bond strength and durability. Different variations of epoxies are suitable for different types of bonding:
Structural acrylic adhesives provide high strength bonds with high peel strength when used for bonding composites. Surface-activated structural acrylics provide quick-setting bonds between composite panels.
Methyl methacrylate structural acrylics are ideal for composite bonding of rough surfaces because of their gap-filling properties.
Urethane adhesives, similar to epoxies, can be used for general compound bonding to provide durable bonds. Flexible urethanes are ideal for general applications that require a flexible bond.
Two-component polyurethane adhesives can be used to join large composite panels together. An example of this is the joining of two composite panels that form the hood of a car.
The BETAFORCE line of adhesives, a two-component polyurethane structural adhesive technology from DuPont, is one of our most recommended systems for bonding compounds.
BETAFORCE bonded materials include carbon fiber, coated steel and coated aluminum. Application areas include roofs, full carbon fiber enclosures or suspended parts such as doors.
Cyanoacrylate adhesives are capable of creating strong bonds very quickly. They are ideal in applications that do not require high resistance to peeling or impact.
UV curing stickers
UV curing adhesives can be used to bond composite panels to plastic or glass. In general, various technologies offer different benefits when it comes to bonding composites.
To find the best product and technology, it is best to focus on the material and application in question; together with expert advice where necessary.