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Thermoset Adhesives


Thermosetting Adhesives

Thermosetting adhesives are essentially infusible, insoluble and show good creep resistance.   They are used for high load assemblies and severe service conditions such as heat, cold, radiation etc.

Thermoset adhesives set as a result of the build up of molecular chains to produce a rigid crosslinked structure.   They include epoxy resins, which are some of the most widely used adhesives.   There are many different thermoset adhesives available including phenolic formaldehyde (PF) resins, phenolic neoprene, resorcinol formaldehydes (RF), polyesters, polyimides and epoxy resins.

Thermoset adhesives are generally more expensive,to purchase and to use, than the other adhesive types.   They are the adhesives most used for structural, load bearing applications.  Some of the toughened variants provide exceptional properties directly comparable with welded and riveted alternatives.


Type Notes................
Material Bonded
Phenol PF Phenol Formaldehyde:used where great strength is required, durable and water resistant.
Materials Bonded ..: Wood,Wood exterier,Aluminium, Metals, Glass, PF, UF etc, Polyester, PTFE etc,
Resorcinol resins Resorcinol-formaldehde : Water resistance is very good. They are used to make exterior plywood.
Materials Bonded .. :Wood, Wood exterier,, Textiles, Brick/concrete/ceramic, PVC, Amides(nylon), Polyurethane
Polyesters (unsaturated) Usually made to harden by chemical action rather than by the evaporation of solvents and thus cure with little shrinkage.
Materials Bonded ..: Wood joints, Metals, Glass, PF, UF, Polyester/GRP, Polystyrene, ABS ,PVC, Acrylic, Poycarbonate, Polyurethane,
Polyimides High performance adhesives requiring higher curing temperatures and bonding pressures (up to 0.7 MPa ). High cost adhesive.   Supplied as tapes.
Materials Bonded ..:Metals
Epoxy resins Epoxy (mostly 2-part) adhesives have good strength and chemical resistance, do not produce volatiles during curing, and have low shrinkage. Therefore they form extremely strong and durable bonds with most materials in well-designed joints. Single part adhesives require heat for setting or need long setting times.
Materials Bonded ..:Wood, Wood exterier, Aluminium, Metals, Glass, Brick/concrete/ceramic, Rubber, PF, UF etc, Epoxy, Polyester, LDPE/HDPE, PVC,ABS, Polystyrene, Polycarbonate, PVC Acrylic, Amides(nylon), Polyurethane, PTFE etc
Epoxy polysulphides Better flexibility and peel strength but relatively lower peel strength
Materials Bonded ..: Wood, Wood exterier, Aluminium, Metals, Glass, Brick/concrete/ceramic, Rubber, PF, UF etc, Epoxy, Polyester, LDPE/HDPE, PVC,ABS, Polystyrene, Polycarbonate, PVC Acrylic, Amides(nylon), Polyurethane, PTFE etc
Epoxy silicones Good temperature characteristics
Materials Bonded ..: Metals , Laminates
Redux adhesive Trade Name.. High performance structural adhesives - Paste or film .   Formulations include     1)vinyl-phenolic - giving the best hostile environment resistance properties.up to 70oC. ..2. epoxy - giving higher strengths, toughness and to 200oC. 3) bismaleimide - Temperature resistance to above 220oC.  
Materials Bonded ..Paper,Aluminium, Metals, Textiles,Glass, Brick/concrete/ceramic, Rubber, PF, UF etc, Epoxy, Polyester, LDPE/HDPE, PVC,ABS, Polystyrene, Polycarbonate, PVC Acrylic, Amides(nylon), Cellulose Acetate, Polyurethane, PTFE etc, Acetal




Sites Providing Relevant Information
  1. British Adhesive and Sealants Association.. Trade body representing the interests of adhesives and sealants manufacturers in the UK
  2. Adhesives Toolkit..The Adhesives Design Toolkit - Very very useful information source
  3. Polyimides as Adhesives: -Literature review..Interesting Article -Provides useful notes on adhesive science
  4. Redux Bonding.. Download pdf with lots of relevant information
  5. Design Bites.. Download booklet "Joining technique" Including section on Adhesives -very good value for 5

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Last Updated 24/01/2013