Bonding is playing an increasingly important role in engineering. Historically, car windows were mounted using rubber profiles for example, but PUR (polyurethane) glue has long-since taken their place. Bonding technology is constantly evolving and is being used in more and more fields of application – lightweight construction, multi-material mixes, new forms of design and electrotechnical developments are just a few of the key areas that highlight how important it has become.
The reason why bonding is so popular is that it has a whole raft of benefits. It bonds a wide variety of material combinations, absorbs forces well, compensates for expansion, is an efficient seal when applied as a bead, and prevents contact corrosion. Glued connections can also save weight. And unlike conventional joining processes, bonding requires no changes to the workpiece, such as holes for rivets or bolts. Bonding is increasingly replacing traditional joining methods or are combined with them to obtain a hybrid connection that boosts product quality and opens up new fields of application.
ATN is a leader in industrial glue application systems. Our cost-efficient quality products are the result of many years’ experience, ongoing development and close cooperation with our customers.
ATN application systems accommodate virtually any flowable material in a host of different gluing processes: Choose from a range of individual components that can be customized to your material properties, process requirements and specifications.
What exactly is glue and what types of glue are there?
Chemically speaking, glues are plastics. Once set, they become thermoplastics, elastomers or duromers (also called thermosets). Glues essentially fall into two categories based on how they create a bond: physically or chemically.
The substances in glues that create a physical bond do not change during the bonding process; they harden via physical processes – often by cooling or solvent evaporation. This category includes hot adhesives (hot melts) and contact adhesives (e.g. tape).
The substances in glues that create a chemical bond do change during the process. This chemical reaction is triggered by a second glue component or by an environmental influence such as humidity. Here it’s crucial to suppress the reaction until the glue is in the joint, which is why two-component glues are not mixed until just before application. One-component glues must be protected from the external influence that activates them.
Most glues used in industrial bonding fall into this ‘chemical’ category, which, for example, includes silicones, urethanes, epoxy resins, anaerobic adhesives, rubber and acrylates.
The industrial bonding process
To create the ideal conditions for adhesion between the workpiece and the glue, it is essential to pretreat the workpiece surface, for example by cleaning, priming and activation. The only way to obtain reproducible, high-quality bonds is to ensure that adherend (workpiece) surfaces are even and clean.
To ensure that every workpiece is optimized for gluing, we developed special equipment.
Industrial glue application process designs can be fully automatic, semi-automatic or manual. Whether a particular semi- or fully automatic application process would be more practical and cost-effective using robot-guided application, or via stationary application to robot-guided workpieces, is a decision based on specific process requirements such as workpiece size, available space and cycle time.
The characteristics of the joining materials and the quality requirements of the glued connection determine the shape in which the glue is applied – for example round beads, profile beads, or material application on large surfaces. Our wide range of applicators and compatible nozzles makes it easy to produce high-grade glue beads in any of these formats.
As well as the bead type, the number of components in the glue will also affect how it is processed, and multi-component glues prevented from mixing before application. Two-component glues cure when their components react together. To one-component glues, a second, booster component can be added to speed up curing and so deliver bonded workpieces more quickly to downstream production processes. Our dosing and application systems are available in one- and two-component versions.
ATN application systems are suitable for processing and applying almost any type of glue – even aggressive, abrasive or highly filled.
Choosing the right system is the key to high-quality bonds
Gluing systems are used in all kinds of application areas and often require equipment tailored to the process concerned.
Our specialists benefit from years of experience in industrial bonding and have implemented many of these customized plants. They will be happy to help you choose the best option for your needs.
Our product overview and brochures provide a comprehensive introduction to our extensive range of standard components, which we can customize specifically for your process.
ATN’s reliable products guarantee superb application results, from material delivery to precision dispensing.Product overview
ATN products are designed to realize and customize a host of application processes across the whole of industry.Process overview
Application process automation is one of ATN’s core business areas. Whatever your process, we have the solution.Process automation overview
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