25 March

Extending the Life of Adhesive Products

 

While, it’s fair to say that adhesive technology has come a long way over recent years, there’s still much to be said for the human element. Roughly translated, even the most fantastic bespoke adhesive products on the face of the earth are largely worthless if they are not handled and used by those purchasing them, exactly as they are designed to be handled and used.

The problem being that so many people, especially those working in industrial and commercial environments, fall into the trap of assuming they know what they are doing. Having worked with so many different types of adhesive products before, it is natural to assume that you have enough experience to know exactly what you are doing without asking any questions. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that even a 1% difference in the composition of any given adhesive can fundamentally alter how it works, how it should be used and so on.

While all adhesives will only ever have a certain usable shelf-life, it is perfectly possible to ensure that it is maximised by injecting a little proactivity into things. So for those who’d rather get the very most out of their high-end adhesive products, here’s a brief summary of a few simple yet important tips:

1 – Keep in Suitable Conditions

First of all, any and every kind of adhesive you ever pick up from any supplier will have very specific instructions on how to properly store it. Some need to be kept in relatively cool conditions, other fare better in areas that are warm and the vast majority must be kept in air-tight containers in areas that are dry and dark. The simple fact of the matter is that whatever it says on the label with regard to storage, this is information that is there for your benefit. To store adhesives inappropriately is to risk compromising their effectiveness when put to use.

2 – Use Only For Recommended Purposes

In terms of extending the life of the actual bond itself, the single most important rule of all is that of only ever using any given adhesive for the exact purposes for which it was intended. Just because an adhesive product delivers absolutely fantastic results with a large number of materials does not necessarily mean the same can be said for every material across the board. Should an adhesive state that it is not designed to be used with plastic, wood, metal or any other kind of material, this again is information that is there for your benefit.

3 – Buy High Quality Products

It’s also a good idea to remember that the better the quality of the adhesive in the first place, the longer its usable life is likely to be.  Which is precisely why it is not uncommon to find that after picking up 99p adhesives from a local store, they’ve often hardened and become useless before the packaging was even opened. The reality is quite simple – if it is a job where quality counts and getting things done properly is of any kind of importance, it simply makes sense to invest in a quality adhesive designed to get the job done properly.

4 – Remove All Residue and Prepare Surfaces

Another crucially important tip when it comes to extending the life of any given adhesive bond is that of ensuring that the surfaces of the materials to be bonded are appropriately cleaned and prepared. This is one of the most common reasons of all why adhesive bonds fail – either the surfaces hadn’t been properly prepared or there was still residue present from a previous bond.

5 – Be Aware of Atmospheric Influences

Something else to take into consideration is the importance of factoring in atmospheric influences and possible environmental issues that may compromise the strength and longevity of the bond. For example, if the adhesive is to be used in an area where the ambient temperature and humidity levels are both on the high side, this may require an entirely different product than would be required in a cool and dry environment.

6 – Read Every Instruction to the Letter

Last but not least, each and every quality adhesive product on the market comes complete with a set of instructions which clearly outline exactly how to get the very most out of the product. As such, unless these instructions are read to the letter and heeded from top to bottom, it is unrealistic to expect the product to perform as well as it otherwise might. Reading the instructions really isn’t too much to ask and has the potential to make a real difference.