Bonding Low Surface Energy Plastics
Design engineers are finding new ways to use polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), and other low surface energy thermoplastics due to their low cost and excellent physical characteristics, including durability, flexibility, and resistance to heat, moisture, and solvents. Design engineers would like to use adhesives to join these materials – however, these plastics have Low Surface Energy (LSE) and are typically hard to bond.
Until now, these plastics were joined with metal fasteners or through ultrasonic welding, both of which are time consuming, costly, and result in unacceptable surface aesthetics.
Fabrico is able to help design engineers identify, select, and use adhesives specially formulated to work with LSE plastics without costly and time consuming pre-treatment (flame, primer, or corona) or additives (tackifiers and plasticizers).
New LSE plastics adhesives – liquid adhesives, adhesive tapes, and thin film/foam bonding systems create strong bonds with LSE plastics that are impact-, shock-, and fatigue-resistant. Using these adhesives can deliver faster production, stronger bonds, no additional weight, and no change in part dimensions. And without conventional fastening techniques, design engineers are not limited in component plastic thickness or shape.
LSE plastics are being used in transportation (attaching automotive fenders, bumpers, body trim, etc.), in rubber gaskets for RVs and other vehicles, appliances, electronic applications (as insulation), medical, and many other applications.