Top 3 Innovative Applications of Adhesives and Bonding Today
Adhesive and bonding materials and technologies can be found in many of the most widely used products on the market today. Yet, perhaps not always considered the most exotic material, end-users and consumers may not recognize the role that adhesives have in ensuring the integrity of their product.
Here, we explore some of the most innovative applications of adhesives, and the role that they’ll play in ensuring the growth of these markets in the coming years.
1. Electric Vehicles
The boom in the electric vehicles (EV) market, which is set to continue growing over the coming years, provides excellent opportunities for the adhesive. Integral to EV battery assemblies and applications, adhesives play a critical role in the battery module of electric vehicles. In fact, it’s stated that the average EV can use almost 8lbs of adhesives and sealants across the vehicle battery and motor.
Structural adhesives, such as polyurethanes, epoxies, and acrylics, provide structural integrity when used between battery cells, and provide a solution to cell movement during car operation.
In addition to this, structural adhesives are able to provide good thermal management for EV technologies. They are said to, “provide additional benefits such as thermal conductivity, low flammability, and good environmental protection of the cells, increasing the product lifespan.”
Another exciting market where adhesives are particularly prevalent, and one which is increasing in size, is the semiconductor market. Here, adhesives are vital to semiconductor packaging where they are used to attach dies to substates during semiconductor fabrication.
Epoxies and silicone adhesives are particularly good for this application. Whilst epoxy adhesives are strong and rigid, they can be prone to defects such as cracking, making them unsuitable for some applications. Silicone adhesives, whilst not having very high impact strength, do have the benefit of having high heat resistance. These thermal properties are attractive for high power technologies.
In addition to semiconductor packaging, adhesives are present in electronics assembly. The proliferation of technology now means that devices such as consumer electronics have higher demands for application requirements. This includes mobile phones and laptops, but also smart watches, virtual reality headsets, and other technologies.
These increasing technological demands provide an opportunity for adhesive to develop in line with technology requirements. Their attractive thermal and mechanical properties, which are also being developed and increasing, will continue to support the needs of the electronics market.
Furthermore, where you would have previously found soldered materials and systems in electronics, you’re now likely to find adhesives. This presents another area of interest for adhesives in the electronics market (and others), the process of debonding. When, for example, a battery pack has been sealed, it may need to be ‘unsealed’ for servicing and such. Unsealing a welded material can be challenging, however debonding an adhesive is a much more efficient and effective option.
We can see how adhesive materials provide enabling solutions to some of the largest and fastest growing markets globally. The development of these materials will be key to supporting the growth of these sectors, so we can expect to continue seeing the development of new and innovative adhesives and bonding solutions in these and other exciting areas.