Engineering and structural adhesives are distinguished from other adhesives by being high strength materials that are designed to support static or dynamic loads, often substantial loads.
These adhesives are often subjected to cycling high and low temperatures and aggressive fluids or the weather. In general they are used for the bonding of rigid structures, although some degree of flexibility or toughness is often desirable in the adhesives to counter the effects of movement, impact or vibration. Although traditionally used in the metal working industries, these adhesives are now even more widely used with more modern materials.
This update describes the most important adhesives for engineering applications, viz.:
• Reactive acrylics
• Ultraviolet light cured (UV) adhesives
• Reactive hot melt polyurethanes
• Special formulations of cyanoacrylates
Important breakthrough technologies are highlighted, such as the use of organoboranes as initiators for the bonding of low surface energy plastics and the use of nano technology to improve properties. Key papers and patents are cited which represent some of the key developments in the subject.