Both sealants and adhesives can act as a seal to fill the gaps or cracks on an object that would have otherwise been prone to unwanted seepage or leakage of watery or gaseous substances. Such seepages and leaks can create problems that can, in some cases, lead to catastrophic events that take place worldwide. When fastening one object to another to create any sort of structure, there is always a chance that a gap will form which will eventually jeopardize the integrity of that structure. Because of this, the use of high-quality sealants is hugely important so that these structures can stay intact.
In some applications, industrial sealants can also act as adhesives in offering strong bonding properties. However, their bonding capabilities depends upon the curing process. The bonding they provide could last for hours, or last for weeks. The three types of curing processes are:
- Ambient temperature: In this curing process, the sealant is applied to the objects it’s supposed to seal and is left untouched at room temperature. This curing process can last from thirty minutes to four hours. The moisture and temperature of the room cure the sealant. Some sealants and adhesives like silicone and epoxy cure using this process.
- Anaerobic curing: This kind of curing happens in the absence of oxygen. These are quite popular and extensively used for metal joining by exposing them to metal ions.
- UV light/radiation: This type of curing is quite unusual. In this process, ultraviolet light or radiation is utilized to cure the sealant. This method can be quite beneficial as it uses less energy and produces a fast curing time. Sealants like acrylic can be cured using this process.
Now that we’ve covered the different curing options for industrial sealants, let’s take a deeper look into the different types of industrial sealants and adhesives:
- Silicone: This is one of the most commonly used sealants today. The production of silicone sealants includes an extensive polymerization and hydrolysis process.
- Epoxy: The use of epoxy is quite extensive in the industrial sector. It is used in the paint industry and helps in give paint a protective layer from any damage.
- Phenolic sealant: Phenolic sealants are used on plywood, buildings, and in the appliance industry. Its broad range of uses makes it popular among carpenters and home builders.
- Polymers: Polymer adhesives are unique in nature. The curing process for this adhesive occurs due to a chemical reaction that involves small molecules reacting and connecting together. The resulting substance functions as a strong bond that attaches all involved components firmly.
Though there are many industrial sealants and adhesives to choose from, they perform the same function of keeping two objects bonded together by giving it a strong bonding integrity.