Can you use adhesive as an alternative to rivets and welds?

Written by: 3M United Kingdom plc | Published:

To achieve the level of production efficiency and product aesthetics today’s marketplace demands, manufacturers must find a way to bond dissimilar materials. Unfortunately, mechanical fasteners can’t always meet the need. Rivets, welds, and screws either don’t work, don’t hold, or don’t look good (or damage the substrate). But that doesn’t mean you’re out of options. An adhesive bonding process can deliver the high-quality performance you need.

Adhesive bonding fastens two materials together using glue without damaging the substrates. Where the most durability is required many manufacturers have turned to structural adhesives.

Structural adhesives help create bonds with load bearing capabilities. By joining materials across the entire bond area, these products, like 3M’s Next Generation Structural Acrylic Adhesives, offer especially strong impact resistance.

The benefits of adhesive bonding over mechanical fasteners.

Bonding materials using structural adhesives can offer many advantages over rivets, welds, and screws. For example:

  1. Greater design potential: In many cases, mechanical fasteners can’t accommodate the tolerances of light, thin and dissimilar materials. When they can, the results are often unsightly, leaving pocks and puncture marks behind. Structural adhesives can help expand your design potential, bonding together materials that would otherwise be impossible to attach – and doing it with a smooth, seamless finish.

  2. Increased productivity: Mechanical fastening processes can be a bit clunky on the line. They often required bulky equipment and extra processing time for pre-drilling and sanding. By using structural adhesives, you can eliminate this equipment and extra steps from your process to make more efficient use of your time and space on the floor.

  3. More durable products: Rivets and welds leave behind drill holes and heat distortion, and create stress points that are vulnerable to stress and breakage. Structural adhesives create continuous bonds that disperse force, and don’t damage the substrates.

Learn more about adhesive bonding.

Could structural adhesives offer you an alternative to rivets and welds? Learn more about the benefits of adhesives

Bonding low surface energy plastics? Find our which bonding options are available for you with the LSE Selector


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