The Importance of Temperature When Applying Adhesives
Every individual adhesive has a particular temperature range for its application, and if this is compromised, it can have significant effect on bond strength, appearance, cure speed and other factors.
For optimum performance, it is usually advised for both the material and the adhesive to be between 15°C and 25°C when the adhesive is applied. If above or below this, some adhesives could act unexpectedly.
Temperatures higher than 25°C can reduce the efficiency of many adhesives significantly by causing thermal oxidation. Thermal oxidation is where the chain of molecules that make up the adhesive is broken down, leading to loss of strength, weight and toughness. Different materials can also increase the rate of oxidation, on top of the heat, such as certain metals. Anti-oxidants are included in some adhesives which can slow down the rate of oxidation which will mean increased efficiency at a high temperature.
When the temperature drops below 15°C, the cure time can increase dramatically which is an inconvenience. There is a simple test to see whether your adhesive has become too cold; spot the adhesive onto a piece of paper, move it into an environment that is of room temperature, and check the spots regularly to see how long they take to cure. If it has become too cold, there are a few ways to avoid this in the future:
- Store the adhesive in a warm environment; keep the heating on to make the temperature consistent
- Make sure that doors are completely closed to avoid heat escaping
Curing cycles can be shortened through the introduction of heat; always refer to the datasheet for instructions.
There is such a variety of different adhesives that you may find ones that require higher temperatures to cure, and others that need the opposite. Always remember to consider the surfaces that you will be using with the adhesive as they may not always be able to withstand extremities of temperature either.
If you need any advice about your adhesive choice, don’t hesitate to talk to one of our team members – Contact us today!