What are the Uses of Adhesives in the Construction Industry?

adhesives

An adhesive is a material or compound, natural or synthetic in nature, that can be used to join or bond two objects of same or different materials. An adhesive can be used as a substitute to conventional joining materials or fasteners as they offer durability along with flexibility, and are resistant to harsh weather conditions, many types of chemicals, high temperatures, and a range of liquids.

Different types of adhesives are available for different purposes and applications. For instance, some are specifically for use in industries such as textiles, food, electronics, etc. If you look around, most man-made things contain some sort of adhesive, and it is not possible to think what it would be without adhesives. For instance, almost in all components of electronic devices and equipment, adhesives have been utilized, maybe on the outer plastic shell, or on circuit boards within.

Application in construction industry

In the construction industry, adhesives and sealants – polyurethane adhesives in particular – are used in a range of unique solutions. These products help to simplify the construction procedure and reduce overall cost of construction without compromising on quality, appearance, or durability. Various forms of adhesives available in the market include liquid, semi-liquid, or of paste-like consistency.

Adhesives are used for fixation of ceramic tiles to the floor. Similarly, adhesives are used for carpet laying, counter top lamination, fixing of laminates and veneers, drywall lamination and HAVC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning), and other important pillars of the construction procedure of buildings, homes, offices, and other residential and commercial complexes. Adhesives are used for fixing of pre-finished panels during the construction of a pre-fabricated housing, and also during the fixing of roofing systems and roof tiles.

Implementation of new technologies are expected to help enable construction of more durable architectural surfaces and countertops that are made of a composite blend of various epoxies, recycled glass, and discarded materials. Adoption of this newer approach helps utilize up to 90% recycled materials, which in turn can help builders gain LEED credits for products used in construction.

Epoxies

Most adhesives known as “structural “or “engineering” adhesives are epoxies. Epoxies, also known as Polyepoxides are thermosetting polymers that have unique mechanical and resistance properties, which is why they are chosen to be compounded as adhesives for a wide variety of functions. Epoxy is formed by mixing epoxy resin along with curing agents (also called as hardener).   

Epoxies play an important role in the construction process, due to their versatile nature and various qualities such as high adhesive strength, quality electrical insulation and good chemical resistance, which makes them an ideal component for construction processes. Epoxies can act as alternatives to two main critical processes in construction, which are as follows:

Thermal joining entails welding, soldering, and brazing, which are commonly known and are effective ways to undertake thermal joining. However, there are downsides to these options. Consistent grinding and sanding down can result in disfigurement of concerned metals through discoloration or formation of metal bumps. Similarly, distortion can also occur as a result of constant grinding. Welding can also over-heat warm metals, resulting into weakening of the alloys, and hence, adhesives are ideal when working with traditional tasks of thermal joining in construction activities.

Properties:

  • Adhesives can join dissimilar substrates
  • They can assemble high-speed production process through an economical joint
  • Realign parts as necessary despite initial disfigurement
  • Erase burn marks, discoloration and read-through
  • Joins various objects and adds possibilities for a wide variety of designs
  • Allow for thermal expansion of metals unlike in welding, there is no requirement of working with high temperatures
  • Improve the inner life of an establishment by lowering levels of indoor noise, improving thermal conductivity, make room for natural vibration and removing harshness from structures wherever possible

Mechanical Fasteners

Mechanical fasteners are used for attaching different substrates. They prove to be very useful on construction sites as they are quick and easy-to-use, and also can be easily disassembled. However, in order to deploy, specific holes need to be created/drilled in various materials for different metals to be joined or bonded together. Apart from requiring more or additional effort, as compared to epoxies, mechanical fasteners can alter the shape, design, aesthetics, and assembly of materials and dilute the original quality in the process. Adhesive fasteners are gaining popularity and are replacing traditional fasteners, owing to their benefits such as reduced material cost and labor costs, lesser time required as compared to traditional mechanical fasteners, easy to use and easy to disassemble parts, if required. Adhesives can support growth of various assemble or manufacturing industries by eliminating use of traditional mechanical fasteners in construction applications.

Properties:

  • Protects laminated surfaces and painted areas from harm
  • Facilities solidarity and harmony between close fitting surfaces
  • Eliminates the possibility of distortion and discoloration
  • Provides greater design and assembly flexibility
  • Aesthetics are never compromised as a result of a strict control over quality of materials

Opportunities

Development and production of bio-based raw materials and innovative processing methods that enable production of water-based construction adhesive products is expected to support demand for such products and result in new and lucrative opportunities in the market. In addition, offering eco-friendly adhesives is expected to create lucrative opportunities for players in the construction adhesives market.