The cure speed of an adhesive is an important consideration for any countertop fabricator. A good understanding of cure speed will help to plan for complex part assemblies and maximize the throughput on the shop floor.
There are two main considerations when it comes to cure speed for an adhesive. Reference the TDS for the stated “open time” (sometimes referred to as “working time”) and “fixture time.”
The open (or working) time is the amount of time a fabricator has to join substrates together with the adhesive and apply clamps. Once the end of the open time is reached, the chemical reaction is at a point where any movement or disturbance of the bonded joint will have an adverse effect on the final bond strength.
The fixture time refers to the point where the bond has reached sufficient strength to allow the part to be moved, tooled, sanded, etc. It should be noted that the cure is not complete at the fixture time and the adhesive will continue to build bond strength as the reaction finishes.
The biggest variable that causes fabricators to have issues with cure speed is temperature. The information contained in the TDS is obtained in a controlled laboratory environment where the substrates, adhesives and air temperature are all kept at a specific constant. This never happens in a shop. For instance, introducing heat into the equation will cause the glue to cure faster. If it’s cold in the shop, or the sheet or slab of material being glued has been stored outside in a cooler climate, the fixture time is going to be extended. If it is too cold, the chemical reaction may not complete at all and the joint will have no strength.
Again, always refer to the TDS and follow the temperature guidelines for proper application and storage of the adhesive.
The key thing to remember when choosing an adhesive for a particular job is that there is no substitute for physical testing. Adhesive manufacturers perform extensive test protocols on substrates and provide empirical data in the form of a Technical Data Sheet (TDS). Specifications for bond strength, cure speed, viscosity, basic physical properties and general information are listed in a typical TDS. An adhesive supplier may make a recommendation for a particular application that the end user should confirm using the Technical Data Sheet.
In a countertop application, the accepted test method for flexural strength is the ASTM D790 also referred to as the ISO 178. Basically, this is a three point break test that measures stress vs. strain or load vs. displacement to determine the flexural strength of a bonded butt joint. The lab prepares accurately cut specimens and bonds them together in a controlled environment, usually conditioning the bonded samples for a period of 24 hours before breaking them. The data obtained from breaking a large number of the bonded samples used to provide accurate flexural strength numbers and good guidance for the best uses of a particular formulation.
If you happen to have a substrate that no one can give you a recommendation for, you can do some simple testing yourself. The test that I use when comparing cartridge adhesives for strength from brand to brand is just a scaled up version of the three point break (without the accurate results). Prepare two samples of the substrate that you want to test in a size that will allow you to support the bonded joint between two points raised up off the floor. I usually use about a 4 inch wide strip, 24 inches long and then cut in half. Bond the 2 samples together, let them cure and then introduce weight incrementally until the joint fails. To get an idea of the bond strength you can then compare the results to an adhesive/substrate combination that you are already using. Even better, perform a side by side comparison.
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Gluewarehouse.com is a wholly owned subsidiary of SCIGRIP Smarter Adhesive Solutions, a world class manufacturer of structural and engineered adhesives. SCIGRIP’s committed research and development team has produce industry leading 10:1 and 1:1 methyl methacrylate (MMA), anaerobic, cyanoacrylate (CA), and ultra violet (UV) cure adhesives. SCIGRIP’s state-of-the-art manufacturing is performed in California, North Carolina, and Newcastle (UK) in ISO 9001 certified facilities.
Excerpt below from their website:
At SCIGRIP Smarter Adhesives Solutions, creative bonding solutions are all we do. Our singular focus on the adhesives industry allows us to be agile and fast when responding to customer needs. We recognize that “one-size-fits-all” doesn’t work very well in the diverse world of product assembly. We go out of our way to understand customer applications and substrate characteristics to ensure the optimum adhesive system is chosen. That’s why our scientists excel at offering custom solutions to tough customer challenges. We welcome the opportunity to solve your toughest challenge!
SCIGRIP product is available on Gluewarehouse.com for the following industries: Countertops & Surfacing, Marine, Industrial and Structural and Sign & Display.
Seam-it adhesive by Gluewarehouse.com is the best option for seaming and edging solid surface, granite, quartz and other engineered countertops and surfaces. Seam-it is available in over 50 colors to provide superior color matching to materials offered by Corian, Cambria, Avonite, Silestone, Livingstone, Formica, Gibralter and many other brands. See Gluewarehouse.com’s Color Charts to find the perfect match for your application.
Seam-it is made in the USA with a new methyl methacrylate (MMA) formula and achieves a superior bond strength that is significantly better than polyester adhesives. Seam-it has excellent water and high temperature resistance and is tougher and more impact resistant than competitors.
Seam-it is Greenguard Certified Low VOC and can qualify contractors for credit toward the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification for green building.
Seam-it is the only adhesive necessary for any countertop surface. See Seam-it options here.
Reinforcing granite and other natural stone countertops is an important part of the fabrication process. By rodding the material around cutouts for faucets, sinks, and other areas, fabricators can increase the flexural strength of the stone, significantly reducing the chance of breaks or cracks. Less cracks means more time and money saved and less dissatisfied customers.
When rodding granite, there is no better option than Rod-It strengthening glue by Gluewarehouse.com. With a 16 minute cure time at room temperature and the ability to embed rods into damp stone, Rod-It increases job efficiency and reduces overall job costs. When combined with Gluewarehouse.com mixing and dispensing equipment, Rod-It allows for significantly less waste than hand-mixed glues and provides a consistent mix for consistent performance.
Rod-It bonds fiberglass, cold rolled steel, stainless steel and Ready Rod which increases the flexural strength of natural stone countertops by as much as 100%. This strength and efficiency allows fabricators to produce a quality product and eliminates call backs for damaged or failed stone.
In order to prevent granite fractures, use Rod-It. See Rod-It and Rod-It accessories here.
Sand-it on Gluewarehouse.com is the only sandpaper necessary for all steps of countertop fabrication from material removal to high-polish finishes. Made with high-quality aluminum oxide, Sand-it discs are durable and reliable on the job. The discs are latex impregnated and provide for excellent flexibility in contoured areas. The middle-weight discs balance durability and flexibility for a premium abrasive.
Sand-it discs adhere strongly for tool attachment, but are easily detached to save time when switching grits. The five inch discs are available with a PSA backing and no holes, and the six inch discs are available with a hook an loop backing and a six hole pattern.
See Sand-it disc options here.
Gluewarehouse.com features Sil-Bond RTV 4500 by Silco Incorporated. Silco Incorporated specializes in the development, manufacturing, and packaging of silicone and hybrid products.
Excerpt below from their website:
Silco Incorporated has been developing and manufacturing advanced silicone and hybrid products for twenty years at our headquarters in Mentor, Ohio. Our products are thoroughly tested to assure they meet the most stringent design and performance requirements for commercial, industrial, and residential construction applications.
Silco Incorporated carries market-driven products, as well as customized products for specific markets and customers. Their products are developed and continually upgraded by a team of silicone and hybrid experts.
Gluewarehouse.com offers Sil-Bond in both translucent and solid colors, providing an excellent match to the top surfacing material brands.
See Gluewarehouse.com’s silicone options here.
Gluewarehouse.com offers COX Quality Sealant Applicators for reliable dispensing of one and two-component adhesives. All COX products are manufactured in-house at their Newbury, England and Haslett, Michigan facilities. COX has been in operation for over 50 years bringing inventive solutions to the market.
Excerpt below from their website:
By combining innovative design with excellent manufacturing standards, rigid quality management, a competitive pricing policy and an in-depth understanding of the sealant and adhesive worldwide market, we have developed a range of manual, pneumatic and battery operated applicators to satisfy application needs from the Do-It-Yourself to the industrial to the most sophisticated specialist markets.
COX prides itself on producing quality dispensing tools that answer difficult problems for specific markets. Their wide range of products are constantly evolving to meet customer’s changing needs.
See Gluewarehouse.com’s professional dispensing equipment.
Gluewarehouse.com offers Sulzer’s MIXPAC and QUADRO technologies for accurate mixing and dispensing. Sulzer is a leader in reliability and sustainability.
Excerpt below from their website:
Sulzer is a global partner offering reliable and sustainable solutions for performance-critical applications. Our innovative solutions add value and strengthen the competitive position of our customers.
Sulzer holds leading positions in the oil and gas, power, and water markets as well as in general industry. These segments include adhesive application, construction, electronics, agriculture and textile among others.
Sulzer’s adhesive application systems are of high quality Swiss construction and offer precise, reliable dispensing and homogenous mixing of two component adhesives. Sulzer’s expertise in two component mixing systems comes from experience with adhesives and adhesive technologies across a broad range of industries.
Sulzer was founded in 1834 in Winterthur, Switzerland.
See Gluewarehouse.com’s professional mixing and dispensing equipment.