Hybrid adhesive aims for best of both worlds

Henkel Australia has introduced a new hybrid adhesive which has been developed to combine the high speed of an instant adhesive with the bonding strength of a structural adhesive.

Loctite 4090 delivers temperature resistance up to 150°C, high impact and vibration resistance, high moisture resistance, and gap filling up to 2 mm. In addition, it is well-suited to a variety of substrates, including metals, most plastics and rubbers.

“This is brand new technology to Henkel,” Michael Hajj, Technical Manager – Adhesive Technologies at Henkel Australia told Manufacturers’ Monthly. “It’s patented technology and it is a world first.”

“It greatly expands the capability of what the traditional instant adhesives, the cyanoacrylates are. It’s combining the benefits of those with the benefits of a structural bonder.”

Applications

Loctite products provide solutions across the whole spectrum of adhesive technologies and manufacturing processes. They are used in markets as diverse as electronics, automotive, aerospace, biomedical and many manufacturing industries.

Loctite 4090 will find applications within those markets but the thing about it, according to Hajj, is that it promises to change how manufacturers work.

“This is brand new technology so this is where we need to start now, going out to our customers and trying to develop the applications with this new product,” Hajj said.

In other words, manufacturers will need to work at how to maximise the benefits of the added moisture resistance, the better gap filling properties, the high vibration resistance and so forth.

“It will come down to educating our customers on what it can do…and changing the way they design their parts as well,” Hajj said.

“It has been designed to reach beyond the conventional industry approaches.”

That can only be good news for an industry that is going through tough times and facing global competition. The combination of speed and strength that Loctite 4090 offers promises to bring sought after cost and efficiency benefits.

Now the ball is in their court. They need to take advantage of the product’s speed and strength and make it work for businesses.

Innovation

When asked about the future developments in the adhesive market, Hajj maintained that there will be further innovations in the years ahead and this targetted investment will continue to meet the future needs of the manufacturing industry.

“If you said to me five years ago that we would have a hybrid adhesive doing a cyanoacrylate and epoxy role, I wouldn’t have expected that.”

So there is still the potential for future surprises.

“The one thing that Henkel and the Loctite brand do is continue to invest in innovation to try and overcome the challenges we’re going to have in the future. In terms of new market, different applications, the pressures of manufacturing,” he said.

He nominated a number of areas of focus for Henkel, including the requirement to make environmentally friendly products, the development of adhesives that cure faster, and those that cure at a lower temperature.

“These are all the things that as an innovative company we are constantly evaluating and investing R&D resource into,” he added.

Or as Henkel CEO Kasper Rorsted puts it – “Innovations are of strategic significance for Henkel because they provide the basis of our future business success. Already today, around one third of our sales revenue is generated from newly developed products that have been in the marketplace for less than three years.”

The company was founded in Germany in 1876. When, in 1923, a supply shortage in glue threatened to hamper the labelling of Henkel products, the company began manufacturing its own, and therefore – rather by accident – became an adhesives producer.

Today, Henkel Adhesive and Technologies serves the transportation, electronics, aerospace, metal, durable goods, consumer goods, maintenance and repair and packaging industries. It has a portfolio of International, regional and local brands.

The Loctite brand, part of the Henkel portfolio since 1997, offers adhesives and sealants used in many of the machines and products that are at the core of everyday life.

They are used in markets as diverse as electronics, automotive, aerospace, biomedical and many manufacturing industries.