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How Does Temperature Affect the Cure Profile of an Adhesive?

In this article, we explore the effect of temperature on the curing profile of an adhesive, in addition to factors to consider when choosing adhesives for changing temperatures.

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temperature affect the cure profile of an adhesive

Temperature’s Effect on the Cure Profile of an Adhesive

It’s important to consider how temperature affects an adhesive’s cure profile for many reasons.

Changes in temperature can influence the performance, curing time, lifespan, strength and reliability of adhesives.

As a result, when choosing adhesives for applications that may undergo temperature changes, the temperatures must be accounted for. Proper consideration of this leads to the prevention of premature adhesive failure, unexpected downtimes, and emergency repairs and maintenance.

The rule of thumb is that higher temperatures speed up the curing process, while lower temperatures slow down the curing process.

Arrhenius Equation

The Arrhenius equation dictates how an adhesive’s cure profile and reaction rate are affected by temperature.

Specifically, the Arrhenius equation states that every 10°C change in temperature leads to a doubling or halving of the curing reaction rate.

This means that, for example, an adhesive that would require 1 hour of curing time at 25°C could be cured in 30 minutes at 35°C, or in 2 hours at 15°C. This holds true across every curing stage – as long as the adhesive hasn’t been fully cured for a long time.

Therefore, manufacturers wishing to control the curing profile of an adhesive can do so by controlling the temperature at which it’s cured.

Choosing Adhesives for Varying Temperatures

Adhesives have the ability to significantly reduce assembly costs, as well as other unique advantages when compared to traditional bonding mechanisms.

When choosing adhesives for applications exposed to varying temperatures, it’s important to consider the following factors:

  • Service temperature range of the adhesive, and whether it fits within the exposed temperature range of the application.
  • Frequency of exposure to extreme temperatures; e.g. applications reaching 200°C every hour would require different adhesives to those reaching it every 3 months.
  • Duration of exposure to extreme temperatures; e.g. applications operating at 200°C for 30 seconds would require different adhesives to those operating at it for multiple hours or longer.
  • Physical properties of the adhesive: glass transition temperature, load-carrying capability, thermal expansion coefficient, heat capacity and rigidity, amongst others.
  • Type of adhesive: adhesives that cure using surface moisture will be less affected by temperature than heat-curing adhesives and more so by factors such as humidity.

Here at Antala, we offer various types of adhesives that operate within wide service temperatures; whether it’s low-temperature adhesives for refrigerator systems or high-temperature adhesives for ovens and microwaves. Particularly with our products such as Araldite 2050 and 2051, manufacturers can reduce their need for extra support in extreme temperatures. These adhesives provide fast curing rates from -20°C to 40°C, even in underwater conditions.

In addition, our thermal interface materials enable efficient thermal dissipation between two or more materials or components within a system. This allows electronic manufacturers to minimise excess heat produced within PCB electronic circuits, reducing the likelihood of component damage. Our selection guide for thermally conductive materials can be used to determine the most suitable thermal dissipation solution for your application.

Potting and encapsulation compounds can also be used in the manufacturing of electronic components to protect from the effects of temperatures. Manufacturers can use our essential guide on potting and encapsulation compounds to find an appropriate thermal protection solution for their electronic application.

To fully optimise your adhesive curing and bonding applications, view our full guide on adhesive curing.

In addition to adhesives, lubricants can also be used to regulate temperatures and protect equipment from thermal changes. Our lubricants have been successfully used in various temperature environments, such as convection reflow ovens and cold chain optimisation. With the help of our lubricants selection guide, manufacturers can choose the most temperature-appropriate solution for their applications.

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