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Feats of Engineering Part 4: Elevator Manufacturing Case Study

( 06/16/2020 ) Written by: John Hill

This is the final installment in a 4-part series explaining recent strides in acrylic adhesives. This case study features structural bonding of elevator components and shows that adhesives are performing in applications that might once have been deemed impossible. 

We know that the demands of cutting-edge engineering designs are one challenge for modern adhesives. Less often considered are the demands of global manufacturing processes. Many metals used in architectural applications are powder coated, with the powder being electrostatically applied to the aluminum then cured or “baked” at temperatures of 400 degrees or more. When structural adhesives are part of the assembly, they must be able to tolerate the high oven temperatures.

One manufacturer of industrial elevators was looking for an adhesive that could tolerate curing temperatures without sliding or separating. The substrates being bonded were galvanized steel and 304 stainless steel. We collaborated with our customer, performing hot strength lap shear testing on 304 stainless steel. The tests demonstrated that next-generation acrylic adhesives were able to provide the required temperature resistance without creep.

Additional customer needs were good adhesive shelf life and compliance with various countries’ environmental and other regulations. The elevator manufacturer’s existing adhesive solution had a shelf life of only two months, which was causing shipping and storage problems and, ultimately, limiting locations in which manufacturing activities could take place. Switching to a single, next-generation acrylic adhesive for all global applications minimized production complexity for the manufacturer. Shelf life of some next generation acrylics can be as long as one year when stored at the appropriate temperature in an original, unopened container. Six- to nine-month shelf lives are common. Next-generation acrylic adhesives are also formulated to meet increasingly strict regulatory standards such as REACH.

New industrial products and processes are raising the bar for structural adhesives. Fortunately, next-generation acrylic adhesives are up to the challenge. For more information, check out Parts 1-3 of our series.

John Hill

John Hill has been with LORD for 24 years and is a principal engineer in the structural adhesives group. He has bachelor degrees in chemistry and microbiology from the University of Minnesota and a PhD in organometallic chemistry from Purdue University.

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