Glues and adhesives are a remarkably versatile feature of daily modern life. They are useful in all kinds of ways, and yet most of us do not really understand how they work. Epoxy adhesives are frequently used and form bonds in a particular way.
Epoxy adhesives require two elements – the hardener and the resin – which are mixed and polymerised. Polymerisation is the chemical process often used in making plastics, where small molecules become joined together in a long chain called a polymer. Polymers are found everywhere and are now used for UK currency. For more on the UK’s polymer notes, see this report in The Guardian.
When the resin is activated by a catalyst – generally the hardener – curing begins. Curing is the process in which the polymer chains share electrons with the amine groups to form covalent bonds and the polymer chain becomes cross-linked. The more links that are generated during curing, the stronger and more rigid the final epoxy bond will be.
By monitoring factors such as temperature, hardener compounds and types of resin, epoxy adhesives with varying properties of mechanical, thermal, chemical and electrical strength have been developed. Other properties an epoxy bond can feature include electrical insulation and being waterproof.
Epoxy adhesives generally have one or two components. One-component adhesives are generally cured between 120 and 150 degrees Celsius. Two-component systems undergo curing at room temperature, although heat can accelerate the process and develop more cross links. Two-component epoxies are considered to be very stable. One-component epoxies are very versatile and strong and offer excellent adhesion with metals. They can even be a substitute for rivets or welding. If you are interested in finding out more about the properties of metal bonding adhesive, you can get all of the information you need from a company such as http://www.ct1ltd.com/product-applications/metal-to-metal-adhesive/. By talking with those who are knowledgeable about metal bonding adhesive, you should be able to find out everything you want to know.
How epoxy adhesives work is a fascinating subject, especially if you are interested in chemistry. Even with no interest in chemistry, the properties of epoxy adhesives can be appreciated as hard-working bonds between all kinds of materials that make modern life much easier. Epoxy adhesives are also notable for their applications in fields such as medicine, electronics and aerospace.