Epoxy adhesives are tough structural epoxies with both environmental and chemical resistance. They are used to join components in a variety of industries, and are widely used because of their bonding strength and durability. These adhesives are used in many applications, from model-making to heavy industrial applications such as automobile manufacturing.
Epoxies may consist of one component that hardens by contact with surface moisture or dual components that use other curing methods. This curing may be accomplished using heat, UV light, visible light, radiation and chemical reaction. Heat induced curing is straightforward; the substance is heated till molten and then allowed to cool to hardness. This is how hot melt adhesives work.
Ultraviolet light and radiation are sometimes used instead of heat to initiate the curing process, which then hardens the adhesive as the light or radiation is removed. Occasionally ultraviolet adhesives will bond simultaneously with the ultraviolet treatment. Chemical reaction curing can happen by way of the epoxy doing something as simply as being swirled with another substance or being subjected to moisture or natural light.
Dual component epoxies consist of a resin and a hardener or activator that is combined to react and cure into a polymerized bond. Dual component epoxies are mixed, and then immediately applied to the surfaces being bonded.
Epoxy adhesives are available in many chemical compositions and often have additives that increase strength, change viscosity, waterproof the adhesive, reduce shrinkage, conduct or insulate the adhesive, resist chemicals and adapt to high or low temperatures. It can also securely and permanently adhere to wood, metal and plastic alike.
All of these characteristics make epoxy adhesives incredibly popular in many settings. In the automotive industry epoxies are used to coat engines and transformers. The aerospace industry uses epoxy resins to protect and strengthen the hulls of planes. Boats are also coated with epoxy adhesive varnish to keep the metal plates from rusting and deteriorating in the water.
The woodcrafting industry employs the adhesive for aesthetics as well as its protective properties. Fiber wires can be mended with epoxies as well, making electronic companies very happy. These are just a few examples of the many industries and applications in which epoxy adhesives are necessary.