In this article we explore the rising phenomena of Industry 4.0, the significance of UAVs and drones in the repair and maintenance sector, and the best adhesives used for the building and maintenance of UAVs and drones.
What is Industry 4.0?
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Industry 4.0 is the name given to the most recent patterns, or phase, in the industrial revolution, which is characterized by heavy uses of automation through robotics, interconnectivity, machine learning, and the use of real-time data available through cyber-physical systems. Industry 4.0 enables business owners and managers to understand and have better direct control over every aspect of their operations. As a result, businesses that incorporate Industry 4.0 technologies and methodologies in their operations often see an increase in their production rate, production quality and a decrease in production costs.
In addition to these benefits, using elements of Industry 4.0 in your business can make you more competitive, collaborative, and attractive to the younger workforce.
What are UAVs and why are they important?
A common way of implementing elements of Industry 4.0 in your business is through the use of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). UAVs, often equipped with a range of sensors and cameras, can be used to scan or map areas which would either be inaccessible by humans or very expensive and dangerous to access. Due to having flight capability, the ability to be remote controlled, and the ability to carry various different equipment, UAVs have excellent potential for aerial photography, surveillance, data collection and mapping. While these can be especially useful in the assessment process, as pointed out in our article here, they also enable easier, safer and cheaper executions of search and rescue operations in areas where human access is limited, e.g. a burning buildings.
Advantages of UAVs
- Low risk search and rescue operations
- Accurate scanning and mapping abilities from high altitudes
- Ability to access areas not easily accessible by humans
- Massively reduced risk of human casualties when carrying out assessments in extreme conditions
- Ability to be ultra-lightweight (sub-5kg) if made from carbon fibre elements
- Ability to be remote controlled from a safe location
- Ability to carry out various different types of measurements simultaneously
Disadvantages of UAVs
- Expensive and difficult to produce
- Potentially expensive to repair and maintain
- Human mistake in remote control can cause a crash – requires trained staff
- A breakdown in the software could result in a crash
- Uncontrolled crashes could lead to casualties on the ground
Adhesives Used to Bond UAVs and Drones
Araldite 2050, a two-part ultra-rapid curing methacrylate adhesive system, which has the ability to cure from -20°C to 25°C, is a great adhesive used to bond UAVs. As it was designed for extreme conditions, it can be applied and cure underwater and in humid areas, and is able to withstand service temperatures up to 120°C. This adhesive, alongside the Araldite 2051 described below, allow for instant repairs in difficult weather conditions.
Araldite 2051, a two-part rapid curing methacrylate adhesive system, has the ability to cure from 0°C to 40°C, is another great choice used to bond UAV parts. Similarly, this can be applied and can cure underwater and in humid areas, provides excellent ageing and weathering resistance, and can be applied with minimal pre-treatment. It provides superb toughness and resistance to dynamic and impact loading, and vibrations.
Araldite 2048-1, a two-component, room temperature curing methacrylate adhesive, is another fast-curing adhesive used for bonding UAVs. The specialty of this adhesive, when it comes to bonding UAVs, is that it is black in colour, and therefore leads to a slick, clean look when used on UAVs and drones which have dark or black coloured bodies. It also provides tough and flexible bonds which are reliable in dynamic environments.
Surface Preparation Tips to Bond UAVs
Araldite 2050 and 2051 are essentially primer-less and can be applied with little or no pre-treatment, due to being fit for extreme conditions. However, in general, in order to achieve optimal bond strength, it is preferred that the joint surfaces are cleaned with a good degreasing agent such as iso-propanol or acetone so that all traces of grease, dirt and oil are removed. Don’t use petrol or low-grade alcohols for this process as this may damage the bond strength. To achieve the strongest bonds, go further and mechanically abrade (with an emery cloth) or chemically etch the degreased surfaces (“pickling”) so that the adhesive may have its full effect. For further information regarding surface preparations, read: What you need to know on bonding plastics.