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Beyond Ordinary Glue Part 4: Urethane Adhesives

( 03/03/2020 ) Written by: Kimberly Richardson

Early polyurethanes were used in their elastomeric form to replace rubber. Now they are used in solid form as well as in foam, coatings and adhesives. They can be a good choice for hard-to-bond substrates.

Advantages to Using Urethane Adhesives

Urethane adhesives are available in multiple formulas with viscosities ranging from low-viscosity to paste form. Depending on the formula, they can deliver fast or slow cure times as well as multiple work times. They are available in specialty versions that can meet unique application requirements. For example, some can resist yellowing when exposed to sunlight; there are also optically-clear, translucent and bright white color options. All are low odor. Glass beads are typically added to the adhesives to ease dispensing and control bead thickness. These can be large or small beads depending on the precision and other needs for a given application.

Urethane adhesives do not contain ozone-depleting chemicals and they are free of heavy metals, so they are environmentally recommended. Their combination of high toughness, strength and flexibility make them an ideal choice for joining both lightweight and structural assemblies.

4 Things to Know About Urethane Adhesives 

  • Urethane-based structural adhesives bond to a wide variety of thermoplastics and composites
  • Bonds to difficult substrates such as fabric, foam and wood and can even be used for metal bonding applications where the metal is primed or coated
  • Offers excellent adhesion on numerous composites without pre-abrasion
  • Urethanes formulas have high elongation and excellent temperature resistance within their category

10 Uses for Bonding with Urethanes (Urethane Applications & Substrates)

  1. Composites
  2. Plastics
  3. Coated Metals
  4. Foams
  5. Textiles
  6. Reinforced Thermoplastics
  7. Glass
  8. Rubber
  9. Ceramic/Stone
  10. Wood 

For more in our series, check out: 

Part 1: Adhesive Basics
Part 2: Acrylic Adhesives
Part 3: Epoxy Adhesives

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