How do you spec an adhesive? Engineering case study from Entrocomponent Solutions


Editors note: This is a Case Study from our partner supplier Entrocomponent Solutions, and here is their sales team: Jeff Bradbury and Scott McGlasson.

1.  How do you spec an adhesive?

Most engineers deal with adhesives at one point or another.  The mistake many make is thinking that “An adhesive tape is an adhesive tape.” Entrocomponent Solutions (ECS) received an RFQ with an adhesive spec’d in on a foam window gasket. The adhesive spec’d in was a very established, older formula that has been an industry standard for over 20 years. The age of this particular adhesive immediately brought up questions about the application, the bond requirements, and the assembly process. ECS wanted to investigate further to make sure this was the best choice for the application.

2.  What adhesive do you use for a window frame gasket?

An engineer found ECS online and submitted an RFQ for a part that was already in production because they were unhappy with the 10 week lead time they received from their current supplier. The RFQ was for a 4″ window gasket with complex geometry, made out of a Poron urethane foam.The adhesive they had spec’d on the drawing was a transfer adhesive. A transfer adhesive is an unsupported tape without any sort of rigidity. The Poron was extremely soft and had a thin wall thickness, meaning a lack of rigidity was a problem.

3.  Why was a transfer adhesive being used on this complex gasket?

ECS met with the customer to learn more about the application. The meetings revealed that they spec’d in the transfer adhesive because that is what was used in the past for foam gaskets. There were a couple of issues with how long it took to apply the gasket to the housing and with the gasket delaminating from the housing after a couple years in the field. These problems were seen as necessary evils and overlooked by the design team at the customers facility.

4.  How did ECS provide easier application and a better end product

After discussing the application and learning about the assembly process, ECS was able to recommend using a supported adhesive that would better hold the shape of the gasket during installation. A supported adhesive has a layer that gives it rigidity. Based on the operating temperature, compression force, and other performance criteria, ECS decided to produce a few sample prototypes for the customer to test. These prototypes had a different formula adhesive with a supporting layer to give the part rigidity.

5.  Better Lead Time, Better Performance, and Faster Assembly

Within the 10 week lead time that the customer had been quoted by another converter, ECS was able to re-engineer the Poron gasket. The supported adhesive led to an easy to place gasket that didn’t fall over on itself and always fit right into the housing. Also, because they used a more permanent adhesive, the products did not need to come in for re-work after a couple years. Finally, the price per gasket actually decreased by using a less expensive adhesive that ECS new would be a better fit for the job.

ECS specializes in adhesive selection and the ability to help you streamline your assembly process.  Contact us for a free consultation.

About Entrocomponent Solutions

Jeff Bradbury, Technical Sales

Entrocomponent Solutions (ECS) is a custom engineered die cut component solutions provider. We specialize in tight-tolerance rotary die cutting, optically registered stamping, multi-layer laminations and flexographic printing. We feature class 100 clean rooms in Azusa, CA as well as Singapore. ISO 9001 and SO 13485 certified.

Hard Disk Drive Components

  • Seals – Featuring adhesive free zone or full adhesive type seals such as : positional seals, screw seals and tape seals.
  • Dampers – Noise and vibration damping using visco-elastic adhesive treatments applied to stainless steel, copper, aluminum and polyester. Applications include label, vcm cover and helium dampers.
  • Filtration products – Featuring new advanced materials developed to accelerate current technology while reducing costs and enhancing performance
  • Gaskets – Acoustic or sealing gaskets incorporating foam, sponge and silicone rubber materials
  • iners – Specially designed liners to address cleanliness and ESD concerns.
  • Adhesives – Custom formulations developed to meet and exceed adhesive performance and cleanliness requirements.

Medical/Diagnostic Components

  • In Vitro Diagnostic Components
  • Patient Monitoring Disposables
  • IV Securement Products
  • Biomedical Devices
  • Wound Care Products
  • Microfludic Device Components
  • Hospital/Surgical Disposables
  • Custom Dressings/patches
  • Custom Adhesives
  • including skin-friendly adhesives systems and tape constructions

Electronics/Industrial Components: In addition to traditional EMI/RFI shielding, insulating, and gasketing die cut components, we now have expanded our capabilities by adding world class injection molding, metal stamping and low cost assembly capabilities to better serve the Electronics OEM Market.

Material Development/Testing Capabilities

  • Customer polymer based advanced materials include, performance films, rate controlling films, adhesive films, visco-elastic damping films, conductive films
  • Testing Capabilities Include, Environmental Testing, Aging Ovens, Constant Temperature and humidity controls, Adhesive Testing, Tack Testing, Drop Shear, Peel Strength Adhesion, Time Constant Testing (humidity chamber), Chemical Analysis Lab, GC/MS Analysis, IC Testing, TMP Testing, IR and UV Testing/ visible spectroscopy, Rheometry, Particle Size Analysis, Conductivity Analysis (thermal and electrical), DSC, TGA

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One Response

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