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Replacing Mechanical Fasteners with Cost-Reducing Adhesives

In both liquid and tape formats, structural adhesives are used in a growing number of medical applications. They are one or two-part epoxy, acrylics, or urethanes, used for load-bearing applications. They usually offer the highest strength in bonding plastics, rubbers, and difficult-to-bond materials. Structural adhesives are used in various medical applications, where screws or rivets were once required, from bonding surgical instruments together to rubber bumpers on crutches or walking canes and the bottom of cast boots. Liquid structural adhesives are widely used in medical devices and in the manufacture of IV tube sets, needle bonding, or attaching plastic tubing to an IV or blood bag.

Reasons for choosing structural adhesives include:

  • Manufacturers want to reduce costs, reduce the number of components, and improve productivity
  • Manufacturers are looking to improve product quality by eliminating process variables
  • Design engineers are working with dissimilar materials, such as plastics, composites, and alloys. Structural adhesives allow for the different coefficients of expansion of these materials
  • As components become smaller and lighter, there’s less space in the design for mechanical fasteners
  • Aesthetically well-designed medical equipment adds to the success of equipment adoption by the healthcare provider and acceptance by the patient
  • Replacing mechanical fasteners with adhesives can make cleaning easier
  • Manufacturers are automating more processes; structural adhesives are better suited for those processes

EIS works with design engineers and manufacturers to select suitable adhesives for the substrate and medical application. We can:

  • Analyze the application for materials and adhesives requirements
  • Recommend materials, adhesives, and suppliers
  • Test the materials and adhesives
  • Develop prototypes for customer testing
  • Provide design-for-manufacturability strategies

Using our in-house test lab, we make suggestions and test alternatives to ensure that the structural adhesive will work correctly in the medical equipment or diagnostic device application.