Why It’s Time to Replace Mechanical Fasteners with Adhesives

Posted by Casey Cephas | 12/10/19 2:44 PM

When it comes to building and assembling electronic devices, there are numerous ways to affix parts or hold components in place – screws, brackets, staples, bolts, retaining rings, pins, and the list goes on. While these mechanical fasteners can be effective, they also add complexity, cost, weight, and other factors to the product.

A viable alternative that may address many of your design challenges is adhesive. The science of adhesives has advanced tremendously over the past few decades. Now, for applications that have previously required mechanical fasteners, the right adhesive can result in a lighter, smoother, and smaller solution. 

Benefits of adhesives for electronic assemblies.

Incorporating adhesives into your product can offer you more design flexibility without sacrificing performance. Here are some advantages that high-quality adhesives provide over mechanical fasteners. 

  • Thinner, stronger bond with uniform stress distribution over surfaces
  • Improved durability
  • Reduced risk of corrosion and rusting
  • Eliminates the need for drilling holes
  • More cost-effective and reduces assembly time
  • Can be easier to automate process

 Types of adhesives.

Adhesives used in electronic devices can be broken into three main categories: pressure sensitive adhesives (PSA), structural adhesives, and non-structural adhesives. Pressure sensitive adhesives are what Tapecon has expertise in and utilizes for better product solutions.

Pressure sensitive adhesives (PSA). Often used in medical devices, PSA have unique viscoelastic properties and require pressure during application to ensure a quality bond. 

Some low surface energy materials

  • High surface energy materials
  • Metals
  • Some plastics
  • Skin
Structural adhesives. Providing extremely high bond strengths, structural adhesives are chemically curing compounds, including epoxies, acrylics, urethanes, and cyanoacrylate. Often, these adhesives can be applied without extensive surface preparation.

Bond materials:

  • Metals, plastics, rubbers
  • Low- and high-surface energy materials
  • PTFE
  • Silicone
  • TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomers)
  • Skin
Non-structural adhesives. These types of adhesives physically attach to the bonding surface, as opposed to curing chemically. Some examples of non-structural adhesives are hot melts, aerosols, and solvents.

 Bond materials:

  • Nonwovens
  • Leather
  • Foam
  • Paper

How to choose the right adhesive for your application

With so many kinds of adhesives available, it may seem daunting to determine the right option for your product. That's where the experts at Tapecon can help. In order to recommend the ideal pressure sensitive adhesive solution, we'll consider the function of the product, the environment in which it will be used, the material being used and their surface energy, the design specifications and strength requirements, and many other factors.

Switching from mechanical fasteners can be an effective way to improve your product design and reduce cost at the same time.

Get started with expert manufacturing and assembling.

At Tapecon, we have over 100 years of experience helping customers solve their complex product challenges. Learn more about our contract manufacturing and assembling capabilities. 

Topics: Fasteners, Adhesives

Written by Casey Cephas

Casey is the Marketing Coordinator at Tapecon Inc.

Leave a Comment