Acrylic
Anaerobic
Cyanoacrylate
Epoxy
Hot melt
Polyurethane
Polysulfide
Silicone
Solvent base
Water base
UV
Viscosity
Medium
Low
Low
Medium to thick
Thick
Medium
Thick
Thick
Low to medium
Low to medium
Low to medium
Void filling
Good
Poor to fair
Poor to fair
Very good
Very good
Good
Very good
Very good
Fair
Poor
Low to medium
Heat resistance
Good
Good
Fair
Good
Poor to fair
Fair
Good
Very good
Good
Fair
Fair
Cold resistance
Good
Good
Fair
Fair
Fair
Good
Good
Very good
Good
Fair
Good
Flexibility
Good
Good
Poor to fair
Fair
Fair to good
Good
Good
Very good
Good
Poor
Good
Chemical resistance
Good
Good
Good
Good
Fair
Good
Very good
Very good
Good
Poor
Fair
Humidity resistance
Good
Good
Fair
Good
Good
Fair
Good
Very good
Good
Poor
Good
Work time
Medium to fast
Medium
Fair
Slow to medium
Fast
Slow to medium
Medium
Slow to medium
Slow to medium
Medium
Slow
Cure time
Medium to fast
Medium
Fair
Slow
Fast
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Fast
Metal bond (steel, aluminum)
Good
Fair
Good
Good
Fair
Good
Good
Fair
Good
Poor
Good
Plastic bonding (ABS, styrene)
Very Good
Fair
Very good
Fair
Fair
Very good
Fair
Fair
Fair
Poor
Good
Polyolefin bonding
Fair
Not suggested
Good
Poor
Poor
Good
Not suggested
Fair
Fair
Poor
Fair
Wood
Not suggested
Not suggested
Not suggested
Good
Very good
Not suggested
Not suggested
Not suggested
Good
Very good
Fair
Paper cardboard
Not suggested
Not suggested
Not suggested
Not suggested
Very good
Not suggested
Not suggested
Not suggested
Good
Very good
Fair
Ellsworth Adhesives, Germantown, Wis.

SURFACE PREPARATION
The primary objective of preparing the substrate surfaces is to remove contaminants such as oils, grease, rust, oxides, films, and dust. Surface preparation is also performed to improve the adhesion properties above that which would normally be obtained through cleaning. For example, abrading the surface improves mechanical interlocking while flame treatment of some plastics significantly increases the surface energy, both resulting in improved adhesion.

The mechanical and physical properties imposed by the application often dictate the substrate composition. But all metal, plastic, elastomer, and ceramic substrates require cleaning or surface modification. This preparation boosts the surface energy that promotes wetting of the adhesive and subsequent adhesion. A surface that produces the best bond is clean and free of contamination, uniform and continuous in finish, and stable with high surface energy.

Surface energy defines the ability of adhesives and pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes to "wet out" on to the substrate surfaces and promote adhesion. Materials with a low surface energy — including olefin-based thermoplastics and polypropylene — may need priming or flame or corona treating before they can take an adhesive. These pretreatments convert low-surface-energy substrates to a higher surface energy better suited for strong adhesive bonds. Likewise, anodizing aluminum surfaces is one method that will boost reliability of adhesive-bonded joints incorporating those materials. Anodizing increases surface roughness, resulting in a significant improvement in mechanical adhesion behavior of the substrate.

The simplest way to prepare a substrate for bonding is to just clean it. Generally, the quality of the surface prep is proportional to both the complexity and cost of the assembly. All surfaces benefit from proper preparation, but not all applications require extensive cleaning or modification. Solvent cleaning followed by mechanical abrasion is the simplest and most effective preparation process.

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