4 Tips for Adhesive Surface Preparation

In a recent blog, we discussed four reasons for adhesive failure. While unlikely with today’s advanced solutions, adhesive failure can still sometimes happen. These four easy tips for adhesive surface preparation processes will help avoid any possible issues and ensure bonding success.

Make sure the surface has good wetting properties

An adhesive’s success is largely dependent upon its ability to wet out a surface. This means that the adhesive must be able to flow out across the substrate surface and penetrate into its material.

To verify good wetting properties during adhesive surface preparation, you want to make sure the adhesive doesn’t bead on the substrate surface. Instead, it should distribute itself evenly across the surface.

Understand the surface’s bonding properties

In addition to an adhesive needing good bonding properties, it’s important for the surface to as well. To ensure a surface’s bonding properties, verify that it has intermolecular and chemical interactions with the adhesive molecules. This step is key in adhesive surface preparation, since both the adhesive and surface could cause failure.

Ensure the surface won’t unaccountably change

Another way to ensure adhesion is to make sure the surface doesn’t change in an uncontrolled way. For example, if the surface deteriorates when exposed to moisture, the adhesive will fail. In addition to understanding how the surface responds to environmental changes, it’s important to take measures to avoid a surface change when conducting adhesive surface preparation.

Consider pretreatment methods

While smart adhesives often don’t require a primer, one may be needed to ensure adhesion. Additionally, surface preparation and pretreatment methods can be used, such as:

  • Cleaning
  • Deburring
  • Etching

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