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Flexible adhesives are available in a range of formulas, including elastomeric adhesives, MS polymer adhesives, and flexible cyanoacrylate adhesives with each designed to fulfil a specific range of functions in bonding applications where elasticity, pliability, and plasticity are important. Suitable for both gap-filling and sealing techniques, as well as strong adhesion between numerous substrates, flexible adhesive solutions provide excellent curing speeds and fixing times. Flexible adhesives are used in almost all industries where moving parts and components require non-mechanical bonding. They are also suitable for a broad range of substrate materials, while allowing for sag-resistant joints where aesthetics is an integral part of design. Additionally, where environmental and considerations must be taken into account, UV and weathering resistance come as standard in all of our products.

The benefits of flexible adhesives include the following:

  • Versatile products suitable for various applications
  • High strength and elasticity
  • Broad-spectrum adhesion
  • UV and weathering resistance
  • Suitable for a wide range of substrate materials
  • Options include compliance with electrical safety standard
  • Ideal for joining materials that have different coefficients of thermal expansion as adhesives accommodate the movement
  • Liquid flexible adhesives can be robotically dispensed for automated assembly lines

Choosing the ideal flexible adhesive for your application requires knowledge of the type of substrate to be bonded, alongside its use case and intended environmental conditions. Additionally, selecting the right product for automated and semi-automated processes will allow you to increase efficiency and cut costs, ensuring that your chosen product can easily be integrated into your manufacturing systems.

To address these challenges, Henkel’s range of flexible adhesives under the TEROSON® and LOCTITE® brands include comprehensive data sheets and detailed information on each product, alongside targeted application attributes for bonding, sealing and assembly. Additionally, hand-held, manual, and semi-automated processes are catered for with easy applicator systems that integrate seamlessly with existing processes or allow you to assemble new processes and machines where required.

Many modern designs incorporate dissimilar materials. For this reason, a significant challenge is that, as temperatures change, each material contracts or expands differently. Large panels like those on opposite sides of vehicles and outdoor structures are examples of this. One side is warmed up in the morning while the other is warmed in the afternoon. Henkel flexible bonding products are designed to flex and accommodate this movement without imparting high stress on the structure.

To discuss your specific requirements, application, and industry, contact a member of our team today to learn more about our flexible adhesive products.

Elastomeric Adhesives

Elastomeric adhesives deliver durability and elongation properties as well as displaying excellent energy absorption characteristics in areas where vibration is expected during operation. This means they are often used in applications where shock, vibration, and impact resistance are required. Additionally, they offer excellent thermal resistance and other environmental protection. Elastomeric joint sealants and elastomeric polyurethane sealants are commonly used for sealing, caulking, or glazing applications in the construction, rail, aviation, and automotive industries, while general elastomeric adhesives are used more broadly.

MS Polymer Adhesives

Among the best all round sealant adhesives on the market, MS polymer adhesives excel wherever elastic joining, and bonding is required. Odorless, neutral and free of isocyanates, it offers safe application, low shrinkage and low temperature curability, and UV resistance. Additionally, silyl modified polymers and SMP adhesives also offer solvent-free and isocyanate-free application. These hybrid products are also well suited to a broad range of industries and applications, providing an excellent all-purpose sealant and adhesive whatever your requirements.

Flexible Cyanoacrylate Adhesives

Cyanoacrylate adhesives, or instant adhesives, are also available in flexible formulas. These flexible cyanoacrylate adhesives offer near instant bonding while retaining flexibility once cured and fixed. This allows fast joining of substrates such as metal, plastic, and rubber, with applications in the medical, automotive, and aerospace industries. It also allows smaller components to be sealed instantly when working with electronics or other time-sensitive applications.

To discuss your specific requirements, application, and industry, contact a member of our team today to learn more about our flexible adhesive products.

Flexible Adhesive Applications

Adaptable and versatile, flexible adhesives are used within a broad range of industries for a variety of applications in the automotive, construction, and assembly fields. Multipurpose formulas are used within automotive and industries where the assembly of components requires tight seals and reliable performance, while non-toxic formulas are useful in industries where food, medicines, or other sensitive products are manufactured or distributed. For more information on the most common applications for flexible adhesives you can read the following sections concerning industrial applications.

Automotive

Used for joining metals, plastics, or a combination of materials to provide superior energy absorption and impact resistance, alongside weather resistance and flexibility during operation. In many cases elastomeric adhesives provide excellent peel strength for larger bumpers and trims while flexible cyanoacrylate adhesives are used to assemble smaller components—in particular electronic and digital devices such as sensors and computers. Henkel’s flexible adhesives can be integrated into your existing manufacturing processes or applicators can be sourced for new processes, meaning all of our products are ready for use on the next generation of vehicles and components.

Industrial Adhesives Assembly and Sealing for Rail

Rail vehicles are required to operate outdoors in all weather and temperature conditions. The large size of the panels introduces stress due dimensional changes of one side being in shadow and the other in direct sunlight. A properly designed elastomeric joint can stretch and allow movement, while still structurally joining the two materials. In doing so, little stress is put into the structure, allowing it to be constructed out of lighter parts which reduces mass. 

Less mass reduces energy consumption, making the vehicle more environmentally friendly. By contrast, a rigid system by contrast puts the stress back into the structure, requiring a heavier structure.

While there are many different applications for these materials, they can commonly be seen in window bonding, panel bonding, and bracket bonding. As designs move to optimize which material is best for individual parts, more dissimilar materials are being used. Flexible adhesives are excellent materials for such applications.

Industrial Adhesives Assembly and Sealing for Aerospace

Elastomeric Adhesives are excellent for aerospace interior bonding since they work well with dissimilar materials. Their elastomeric nature also makes them inherently impact resistant, an important attribute for aircraft interiors where panels are bumped and the entire interior system is subject to continuous vibration in service.

Industrial Adhesives Assembly and Sealing for Appliance

Current trends in appliance manufacturing are towards the use of glass to give a uniform appearance. Where tempered glass has been used for several years in cooktops and oven doors bonded with high performance two-component silicones, glass is now finding its way into refrigerator and freezer door bonding, dishwasher door bonding, and laundry lid assembly.  Elastomeric adhesives are ideally suited to connect this glass to aluminum, powder coated steel, stainless steel, and plastic frames. 

Elastomeric adhesives have several processing advantages. As flowable liquids in their uncured state, dispensing is easy to achieved through robotic automation which helps reduce costs. One product can also be applied to several locations to bond and seal a given device, resulting in a reduction of direct materials by eliminating mechanical fastener and preformed gasket SKUs.

The appearance and performance of appliance are the most important features for consumers. Bonding glass, as opposed to attaching it with screws and clips, allows for a clean finish to the final product. Elastomeric adhesives are flexible in their cured state which gives them the advantage of absorbing and distributing stresses across a wide temperature range.

Construction

Construction adhesives require a broad range of features to ensure they can withstand the rigors of outdoor and indoor usage on buildings and other structures. MS polymer adhesives deliver highly elastic, high-strength sealants that can be applied to both porous and non-porous surfaces in a broad range of environments and conditions. Environmental resistance is key, as weather extremes must be factored into any building or structure, and areas where application of an adhesive cannot be protected. Here, Henkel’s range of MS polymer adhesives provides superior adhesion and resistance depending on your application.

General Industrial Assembly and Sealing

Suitable for sealing and assembling both large and small components, flexible adhesives can be used within almost any industry and application—providing a versatile solution suitable for a variety of substrates, material, and components. Tight seals and secure bonding are assured. However, Henkel’s product line of flexible adhesives offers properties suited to specific applications and environments. Simple 1-part application and advanced UV protection make our products ideal for both indoor and outdoor use, while 2-part products can be used in applications where greater control of environmental conditions is available. Additionally, low-sag products allow sealing and assembly when aesthetics are an important part of your designs.

Further Resources

RoHs and safety sheets on all of our flexible adhesive and MS polymer adhesive products are available to download here. Detailed TDS and SDS sheets are also available on request should you require more detailed information.

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