Bonding and medicine – closer than you might think

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Medical

Perhaps most people will still believe that adhesives and medicine have absolutely nothing to do with one another. And yet, there is a fair number of medical devices in whose manufacturing adhesives are used on regular basis. Needles, blood filters, catheters, IV sets, anaesthesia masks, blood oxygenators, blood pressure transducers – to name only a few.

The demands that are posed in front of this industry in terms of design are ever increasing, and the use of adhesives allows the designers much more freedom. The diversity of materials that need to be bonded together is on the rise as well, which is why serious adhesive manufacturers will partner with the manufacturers of these materials and provide bonding assessments on which their customers from the medical industry can rely without concerns.

Even though quality and reliability is the unparalleled number one priority when it comes to medical devices, manufacturing efficiency isn’t unimportant. Which is why with Loctite medical adhesives a well thought-through bonding process comes hand in hand, including dispensing, curing, in-line detection and in-line bonding speed. That’s where the key to costs saving can often be.

If the use of adhesives in food industry is highly regulated, medical industry is even more so. The new Medical Device Regulation issued this year is 360 pages long – replacing the one from 1993, which was mere 60 pages.

You can browse through the medical adhesive offering, but before making any decisions or product selections, absolutely contact an expert for support.

Making of: Electric Motors

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Electric motors

Electric motors power an amazing number of devices nowadays. From as small as those in our household appliances and disc drives to as large as those used in ship propulsion – electric motors are all around us.

The processes of manufacturing electric motors vary depending on the type and purpose of the motor, but there are certain operations which to an extent exist in all of them and which can benefit from the use of adhesives and sealants. The very core of electric motor consists of cylindrical elements. They can be assembled much more easily by using retaining compounds. Instead of using pre-formed gaskets to seal end plate to housing, cover to junction box or housing to junction box, chemical gasketing materials can be used (from anaerobic, silicone or silan-modified polymer technologies – depending on specific application). This saves you from keeping stock of various sized rubber gaskets and provides a solution in case of flame-proof electric motors where rubber gaskets are not allowed.

By using adhesives to lock and seal the threaded fasteners and joints you can reduce the number of parts used, prevent corrosion and improve clamp load. You can use them to encapsulate parts and protect them from environmental effects as well as for numerous little applications such as reinforcing wires or electrical connections, tacking and even temporary fixing of parts during manufacturing process. See more…

No harmful chemicals in food, please!

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Henkel_Food slike vodoravno

Much like any other industry, manufacturing of food and beverages operates using machines, robots, conveyor belts, pipelines, tanks, pumps… Sounds familiar, right?

And much like in any other industry, there are screwes to be locked, bearings, shafts and other cylindrical parts to be retained, flanges and fittings to be sealed, small repairs to be done – sometimes quite urgently, too.

Much like in any other industry, adhesives and sealants can be used here as well. Reasonable concern of any maintenance engineer in this case, however, isn’t just how quickly and efficiently the repairs or maintenance activities can be performed, but also which chemicals can be used while being absolutely sure there’s no danger of contaminating foodstuffs with harmful substances.

Thankfully, as we all have to eat – maintenance and chemical engineers alike – someone had thought of creating and testing adhesives and sealants that can be safely used in food processing industries. These products can certainly have approvals for different levels of contact with foodstuffs so it’s always advisable to check with an expert, but a good overview can be found here.

His majesty – the Shaft

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Shaft group

One might argue there is nothing terribly exciting about a plain, smooth, cylindrical piece of metal that any shaft fundamentaly is. But most of them are incorporated into crucial systems of equipment of extremely high financial value and crucial significance for the plant functionality.

Taking proactive approach to maintenance of shaft mounted assemblies can help prevent most common failures, allow for recycling of parts to avoid scrap and even restore shafts to as good as new condition.

Corrosion, wear and errosion are the most well known enemies of shafts. Depending on the type and degree of wear, though, you can use one of the following methods:

  • Sleeving – to instantly restore worn or damaged shaft
  • Bonding – to fill the gap with repair adhesives while maintaining the load bearing capacity
  • Rebuilding – for badly worn shafts where metal-filled compounds need to be used

Sleeving presumes the use of a material similar to the one the original shaft is made of. This material can be fixed to the damaged part of the shaft using products like Loctite 603 or 648. Same products, with the addition of Loctite 660, can also be used for bonding or you might need to select a product from the epoxy range, such as Loctite EA 9466, depending on the depth of the wear or damage. For rebuilding of the badly worn shafts, the right choice are definitely the epoxies, such as Loctite EA 3478 which contains metal particles, making it even stronger and more durable.

There are also the usual, typical maintenance products to choose from, like threadlockers, anti-seize products or cleaners. Find out more.

Industrial centrifuge – no lunch break allowed!

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centrifuge

Decanter centrifuges are typically used in a wide variety of industries, like oil and fats processing, starch technology, food and beverages manufacturing, pharmaceutical and enviromental industry and many more. One of the most common uses is actually dewatering of industrial and municipal waste sludges. Which means the centirfuges are pretty much running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Which in turn means that any failures must be dealt with in a speedy and efficient manner.

There are several factors that can jeopardise your centrifuge. The bowl outside surface, lower housing, conveyor hub, flights and feed zone are exposed to errosion and chemical attacks. Damages caused in this way can be tackled by using ceramic coatings and putties from Loctite range of products. Many of them are resistant to chemicals, wear and sometimes even elevated temperatures so they will not only repair already existing damages, but also protect the surfaces from future attacks.

Main and headwall bearings can fail due to insufficient lubrication or a combination of imballance, high speed and load. This can be avoided using Loctite retaining compounds.

Locking of the infeed pipe and feed device screwes is something that should go without saying, as is the sealing of bowl flanges to prevent any leakages.

Check here for details of the products. Please be aware that some of the products may have been renamed or rebranded so best to consult an expert locally here as well.

Industrial gearbox and what you can do for it

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gearbox

I’ve been writing quite a bit about industrial pumps, but pumps certainly aren’t the only devices extensively used in various industries. Gearboxes don’t fall far behind on that list either. And they come in as versatile applications as one can imagine: from the use on pencil sharpeners and 3D printers, through elevators, gates and conveyor belts, to heavy duty applications like those in mining and quarrying and moving heavy loads.

Much like with any piece of industrial machinery that’s expected to run efficiently and without interruptions for as long a lifespan as possible, there’s a number of things that can go wrong in its duration, and many factors that can impact the efficiency and longevity of any given gearbox.

However, there are many predictable failures and mishaps that can be prevented by taking steps already at the gearbox assembly or before putting it in service. Bearing spinout and fretting can be prevented by using the retaining compound Loctite 641. You can prevent leakages between oil seal and housing by securing your bolts with threadlockers (Loctite 243 or 248 are recommended). Loctite 577 or 572 will seal and lock your threaded fittings, while Loctite 518 will take care of sealing your rigid flanges. And that’s just naming a few, all before any issues have occured. There are many more pure repair options, too, like repairing cracks or porosities on the housing, removing and converting rust, as well as lubricating and seizure preventing solutions. Find out more.

Managing expectations

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When adhesives are used for repairs, it’s extremely important to know what you can expect from the part repaired in such a way. Lack of trust in adhesives is often a consequence of wrong expectations.

Fact is, a repaired part cannot be expected to last forever, performing in the same way it always has. You must ask yourself why it failed in the first place. Was it put under forces too high to withstand? Did a high stress impact damage it?

You’ve all heard the saying that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link – it’s the same with any part: it will break on its weakest spot. Very likely, the design at the breaking point was less than perfect and presented a failure risk from the beginning. Once you’re forced to repair, you might want to consider slight changes in the design of the part. Perhaps you’re able to enlarge the area you want to bond, add some additional or reinforcing material. Only bonding the part back together without taking any additional actions to improve it will quickly result in a new failure, once put under the same forces that made it fail before. Even when the adhesive itself is strong enough, it doesn’t help with the material of the repaired part being too weak.

You have to be especially aware when you’re repairing high strength materials like metal. Adhesives are in their chemical basis plastic materials. Which makes them about ten times weaker than metals. So adapting the design of the part becomes crucial here as well.

And finally, it is possible that you’ve adapted the design and the adhesive is in principle strong enough, but the repair still doesn’t work. Well, then the reason for the failure may be in the one thing I keep hammering in most of my articles: surface preparation. Cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning. Roughening the surface can also help, when possible, because it basically enlarges the adhering surface area on micro level. And again – if you feel insecure about what to do, never hesitate to contact an expert.