Aircraft are complex vehicles, often consisting of millions of parts that come together to make flight operations possible. Depending on the structure of an aircraft and the materials making up its assembly, varying methods or processes may be carried out to join parts together. While fasteners and welded joints account for a significant portion of connected parts, adhesives are also commonly used for structural applications for the means of bonding parts, filling gaps, sealing openings, and more. In this blog, we will discuss the most common types of structural adhesives that are used in aerospace applications and the various benefits that they present.
Structural acrylics are a common form of aerospace adhesive, and they are products that cure at room temperature very quickly. Oftentimes, they are used for glass, metal, or other various substrates, and their major selling point is the material flexibility that they offer. In terms of additional benefits, structural acrylics are also known for offering high shear, tensile, and peel strength, as well as ample impact resistance. As all of this is advantageous for aerospace applications, one may find structural acrylics on harness clips, motor bonding magnets, and more.
Epoxies are also known for their rapid curing, and they come in subtypes that cure at room-temperature through exposure to heat or UV rays. Epoxies are known for their high shear and peel strength, that of which can remain even after ample exposure to extreme environmental conditions that degrade the reliance and integrity of other cured products. As a result, epoxies are popularly utilized for filling gaps and joining dissimilar metals together. As an added benefit for aerospace applications specifically, epoxies also offer an optimal strength-to-weight ratio and low density.
The final major adhesive type prevalent in the aerospace industry covers cyanoacrylates, and these products cure within seconds at room temperature as a result of exposure to moisture present in the air. While cyanoacrylates are able to be used on a wide variety of substrates, they also offer a high amount of shear and tensile strength. As a result of this, they are regularly used in instances where two parts are to be permanently bonded, when a quick repair for an interior trim needs to be carried out, or when another adhesive needs assistance as a result of its slow curing process. While such adhesives are traditionally known as cyanoacrylates, they are also often referred to as instant adhesives, superglues, and other such names.
Despite having already mentioned a handful of benefits that structural adhesives offer, it is also important to be aware of the advantages that they have as compared to other aerospace bonding mediums like fasteners and welding. For example, while adhesives may offer a weaker joint, the cheaper price of adhesives can be highly beneficial if high strength is not necessary. Additionally, they are also easier to use, as special tools or expensive equipment is rarely required. Aside from such examples, aerospace structural adhesives are also known for their versatility with dissimilar materials, aesthetics with no invasive mechanical work required, fatigue resistance, and more.
If you find yourself in need of various structural adhesives for joining aircraft parts together, look no further than Cogent Purchasing and our unrivaled inventory of items. Our database collects over 2 billion products that trace back to leading manufacturers we trust, and everything listed on our website can be purchased at any time. If you find any items of interest, simply fill out and submit an RFQ form at your earliest convenience, and a member of our staff will reach out in 15 minutes or less to provide a customized solution that caters to your needs.
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