Adhesives are the nonmetallic material used for binding materials together. They have high capacity of holding materials together and show great resistance towards separation. Adhesives are easy, cost effective and easily accessible substitute to expensive alternatives like thermal bonding and mechanical fastening.
Adhesives have a lot of advantages over other alternatives, some of which include even distribution of stress over the edges, cost effectiveness, easy accessibility, better aesthetic designs and great pliability.
Adhesives also hold a niche place in the economic importance as they are used for the production of almost everything from plastic coatings on automobiles to fabrics to sticking brand labels on beverages.
Adhesives are manufactured by the process of adhesion. Adhesives maybe categorized into various types such as synthetic or natural, reactive or non-reactive depending on their physical and chemical composition.
If an adhesive chemically reacts to harden then it is referred to as a reactive adhesive. For a substance to be defined as an adhesive it must possess three main properties namely, it must wet the substance on which it is being applied, secondly, it must increase in strength after application. Lastly, it should also be able to mediate pressure between the two surfaces.
There are various types of adhesives available based on application.
Drying Adhesives are the ones that harden after drying. There are two varieties in Drying Abrasives, namely Solvent Based Adhesives and Polymer Dispersion Adhesives. White glue and contact adhesives are the examples of drying abrasives. Polymer Dispersion Abrasives are mostly based on Polyvinyl Acetate (PVAs). This category of abrasives is mainly used in wood works, fabric industry and packaging industry.
Pressure Sensitive Adhesives are tailor made for either permanent or removable applications. Some of their common usage include vibration damping films, tags for electric equipment. Contact adhesives are used for strong bonds and it should be applied to both the surfaces and allowed to dry before sticking the surfaces together. Hot adhesives are thermoplastics that solidify after cooling and result in strong bonds between the work pieces.
Anaerobic adhesives are reactive abrasives that are used for close fitting spaces. Multi part adhesives are also a type of adhesive that harden when two or more substances are mixed together. Polyester resin, polyols and acrylic polymers are examples of multi part adhesives. One part adhesives harden and provide resistance to separation when an external energy like heat or UV radiation is applied to it. Polymide is an example of this category.
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