Rubber to Metal Bonding

Rubber is a material which goes through many different processes during the manufacturing of different products. One of the most important processes is rubber to metal bonding. In this article, we will discuss, how rubber is bonded and glued with metal? What are the different steps for bonding metal to rubber and so much more?

What is rubber to metal bonding?

Technology has been booming and in the past 20 years, we have witnessed its miracles. Technology has been a big helping hand that allows for achieving high-quality and uniform manufacturing of several products. One such technology is rubber to metal bonding. Bonding rubber with metal means the mechanical bonding of rubber to a metal, which takes place during the moulding process. Rubber is bonded with metal for the purpose of isolating vibrations and noises in the automobiles and other different engineering applications. The rubber to metal bonding is basically a very generic phrase. It covers several interdependent processes.

Rubber to metal engineered devices is manufactured in order to enable the key attributes and performance of many machines and equipment. The rubber-metal bonded devices are widely used in aerospace, automotive, and industrial applications. The whole idea of the critical parts relies on the bonding of rubber and metal. The bond that is formed between any metal and rubber plays a vital role in the successful working of the critical parts of numerous machinery and equipment.

Preparation for rubber-to-metal bond

Before the beginning of the rubber to the metal bonding process, it is necessary to know about the preparations, which ultimately lead to the magical process. Initially, the type of metal and rubber type if finalized, which depends on the various purposes. Accordingly, the metals and rubbers are singled-out to carry out the process.

When it comes to the rubber, different types of rubber can be used for the metal-rubber bonding process. This includes natural rubber, chloroprene, hydrogenated nitrile, butyl, urethane, fluorocarbon elastomers etc. On the other hand, metals like steel, nickel, aluminium, alloys and plated metals can be used for the same.

Before the bonding process, the metal inserts are prepped for the purpose of production. For this, a degreasing system is used which helps the metal parts to get rid of any containments, oil or grease. This should be done before the adhesive is applied to the metal parts. The second part of the preparation includes the heat-activated adhesive. This adhesive or glue is applied to the metal inserts and a technique which is quite similar to the spray painting technique. Once the metals inserts are fully prepared for the production, the next stage is the metal to rubber bond itself.

Rubber to metal bonding process

If we look back in history, there were several methods used for the rubber to metal bonding. Over the years, numerous methods were employed in order to successfully achieve a rubber-metal bond. However, in previous years, many efforts like ebonite, multiple tie coats, brass plating, and polyisocyanates etc were utilized for the sake of metal-rubber bonding. Although, all of these methods have different shortcomings of their own.

So how do metal and rubber are bonded with each other? Basically, an adhesive composition of one and two components is engineered for the bonding of metal and rubber. How to glue rubber to metal? Let’s understand the entire process of rubber to metal bonding.

After the preparation of metal inserts, the process requires placing the metal inserts into the cavity of the moulds, one at a time. This should be done physically. The metal is required to stay in the right position for the bonding process. For that, the inserts that are on the top are incorporated with special kind of magnets. This helps in holding the metal inserts in place while the moulds are loaded. The inserts are encapsulated into the rubber during the process. Special kind of chaplet pins is used for incorporating into the moulds. This method allows the rubber to flow freely around the metal, after which the regular rubber moulding process starts. Once the mould is closed, the process of moulding is commenced and the hot adhesive is activated. This glue flows in the metal inserts and thus allows the rubber and metal to bond.

Metal-Rubber Bond Adhesives

Nowadays, rubber to metal adhesive or glue are commercially available and you will find a wide range of adhesive that are manufactured to fulfil different needs of the users. There are different adhesive solvents available such as Solvent-based, low Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAPs) as well as water-based solvents. When material engineers focus on the rubber-metal bonding process, they focus on selecting the best and the most appropriate adhesive, from a range of adhesives.

These glues or adhesives have exceptional qualities. They are shear and have explicit strength. Such bonding adhesives are tensile and are available in a range of viscosities. These adhesives are ideal to bond any type of rubber to different metals and assure a robust rubber to metal bonding.

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