The choice to join metals typically depends on factors such as the type of metal(s) being joined, load-bearing capacity and durability requirements, disassembly and repair factors, and other application requirements. The common ways to join metals include welding, mechanical fasteners, or adhesives.
Welding offers excellent structural integrity and load-bearing capacity, making it suitable for heavy-duty applications. In manufacturing and construction, welding has been a tried-and-true method forever, as its origins trace back over 2,000 years.
Similarly, mechanical fasteners have been around in some form since the first century BC. Screws, bolts, nuts, rivets, or clips that mechanically join two or more pieces of metal offer several advantages. These advantages include ease of assembly and disassembly, versatility, and the ability to join dissimilar metals. Fasteners are the mechanism of choice, especially in applications where the joint may need to be taken apart or adjusted in the future.
Recent advancements in adhesive technology have led to a shift toward using adhesives as a supplement or substitute for mechanical fasteners and/or a replacement for welding.
As it pertains to welding, there are several reasons for this shift. The advantages of adhesives include a more even distribution of stress across the joint, as well as reducing the risk of fatigue and failure over time. Adhesives also eliminate the need for drilling, grinding, or other surface preparation often required for welding, saving both time and money during manufacturing.
In addition, adhesives can join dissimilar materials, such as metal to plastic or metal to composites, which can be difficult or impossible to weld. Adhesives are also better suited to join components with complex shapes, which can be difficult to weld due to the risk of distortion or warping.
Sealants and Adhesives Online Tools
Applications for sealants and adhesives vary greatly. Consequently, whether you’re an OEM, repair facility, or at-home DIYer, there’s an almost limitless variety of products available. This large number of choices allows for there to be a product that perfectly fits your needs. Unfortunately, weeding through all of those choices can be challenging.
Look no further!
To help you make the right choice, Austin Hardware® has added an in-depth and highly detailed filtering system to the Sealants and Adhesives pages) of our website.