Left Tab White
Right Tab White

Metal Bonding

Why choose radshape for Metal Bonding?

With over 20 years experience of in bonded structures, we have the knowledge to work with our customers to take their ideas from prototype through to production. Using the latest hot and cold cure adhesive technology, our cleanroom production environment and computer-controlled calibrated oven, we can produce any aluminium structures from full automotive monocoque chassis through to lightweight aerospace panels, electric vehicle battery boxes and cooling systems.

All of our bonded constructions are fully supported with our onsite tensile test equipment giving our customers full traceability.

Metal Bonding
bonding 2

What is Metal Bonding?

Metal bonding refers to the process of joining materials together through industrial-grade structural adhesives; these adhesives create a chemical bond, also called molecular bonding, between the metals, as opposed to the joining techniques created by more traditional methods. Adhesives are becoming a more common alternative to mechanical or thermal methods of joining - such as fasteners or welding - for a number of reasons.

Adhesive bonding is used across a multitude of sectors, including the automotive and transportation industry, construction, aerospace, and electronics (including commercial goods). Automotive bonding is one of the most common uses of adhesives.

This innovative technique, used across many industries, means it is a growing, and increasingly popular, field.

How do you make a metal bond?

Structural adhesives bond metals by working like a glue. The adhesive is applied to the metal, usually as a solvent, where it hardens – either through physical or chemical means – and therefore solidifies the metal parts together. Strength is created through cohesion (the internal strength of the adhesive). This hardening process may also be known as curing and can be catalysed by time, pressure, or temperature.

Adhesive bonding can be applied to many metals, including between dissimilar combinations of metals, irregular surfaces or surface edges, and finished metals – such as painted or coated metals.

What is the best metal to metal bonding agent?

The type of bonding agent used depends on the material you’re working with and its intended application. Epoxy and acrylic are considered some of the strongest structural adhesives for metal, whilst cyanoacrylates are amongst some of the most commonly used.

Epoxies are very strong, and can be further modified in order to take on additional properties, such as heat resistance, or being flexible or rigid. For this reason, they are greatly versatile and have a wide application range. Epoxies can be used for bonding most metals, including aluminium, brass, and stainless steel.

Acrylics offer simple curing – needing only time – to create strong and long-lasting bonds. They can be applied to both stationary and moving loads and high temperatures whilst maintaining integrity. Like epoxies, acrylics can also be applied to a range of metals, such as copper, aluminium, and stainless steel.

Cyanoacrylates are used where fast curing is needed, whilst maintaining high shear strength; it is often referred to as “super glue” for this reason. Cyanoacrylate is an acrylic monomer, typically used for brass or copper. Alongside the bonding of metal, cyanoacrylate is also used for medical purposes.

What are the advantages of Metal Bonding?

Compared to more traditional methods of joining, adhesive bonding has many advantages.

Using structural adhesives, rather than welding or using fasteners, can often save time and money – especially as they are becoming increasingly common. As well as saving on labour costs, the skill needed for metal bonding is less than that required for welding.

Structural adhesives are versatile, working effectively on a range of dissimilar metals, and surfaces of metals.

Adhesives can also appeal on a design level, too – they remove the need for fasteners, minimise vibration, and create a smooth join, whilst being applicable to a multitude of both stationary and moving designs.

Got any questions?