Thursday, December 10, 2015

Choosing the Right Adhesive

by Corey Nigh

Adhesives have been around for centuries, with the earliest known types made of natural materials, but today’s advances in chemistry have created synthetic polymers, allowing adhesives that can be used on a variety of materials, and in a wide range of conditions. While there are three primary types of adhesives, chemically cured, physically cured and pressure cured, there are many sub-types of adhesives. For example, chemically cured adhesives are reactive, and are available in two types, single component and two component. 

Physically cured adhesives are available in four types:

  1. Hot Melts
  2. Organic Solvent Adhesives
  3. Plastisols
  4. Water-Based Adhesives

Many of these adhesive types are used in construction. Selecting an adhesive for building components depends on the type of construction. Prime structural, semi-structural, temporary structural, secondary structural and nonstructural. Not only is the type of application important, but the environmental conditions that the structure will face must also be considered. Roof sections face temperatures as high as 160° F, walls can get as high as 120° F. Moisture conditions can also vary by climate, and the possibility of damage, such as burst plumbing pipes or a leaking roof, can introduce high amounts of moisture in areas where adhesives have been used. has a wealth of information in its section on adhesive technologies and selection to help you choose the right adhesive for your project.

While a certification of compliance is not always required, it is always a good idea for an adhesive manufacturer to support their product with independent, third-party verification. Many closed components use adhesives in some way, and they may be subject to codes regarding fire ratings, creep resistance or shear strength. A certification report will often spell out the adhesives’ tolerances for bond strength, shear strength, aging, heat and humidity tolerance, as well as creep resistance and more. This can help take the uncertainty and guesswork out of choosing the right adhesive for your project.

Whether you are an adhesive manufacturer or a building component manufacturer, a third-party verification of the adhesives’ attributes is an important tool. NTA is a nationally recognized third-party provider of independent product and material testing services. Contact us today to get your product on the path to certification!

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