The global adhesives market is estimated to be worth 63.50 billion USD by 2021 and this is for good reason. This is a huge, growing and multifaceted market, so read on to understand what it incorporates and why there’s more to it than meets the eye.
An adhesive is a substance or a utility that is used to attach two substrates. These are used in manufacturing, in engineering, in DIY and in a range of other fields – even medicine!
There are many different uses for adhesives and as such, it is a large market and one that is not showing any signs of slowing. It may change as new adhesives and sealants are introduced but growth is largely assured with a CAGR of 4.72%. In fact, the adhesives and sealants market is estimated to be worth 63.50 Billion USD by 2021, marking significant growth and opportunity.
When you think of adhesives, you may think of glues
Veneers are different from many cosmetic dentistry procedures in that they only affect the outside of the teeth and this is possible thanks to the use of adhesives. Here your actual original teeth will normally stay entirely in-tact and no new teeth will be put in, which will mean that the process is far less invasive and uncomfortable than say getting dental implants or having teeth pulled out.
Instead, veneers work by simply being attached to the front of your existing teeth. These of course hide the tooth behind and as they can be any shape or colour you choose that then usually means that you can replace any old smile with a new smile that is perfect in your eyes.
The benefits of this system are multitudinous. Firstly, there’s no pain involved in the procedure at all. At the same time the process is very quick, taking only a couple of visits to have them made and attached before you can walk away with your new smile and no bruising or ‘down time’. Unlike removable dentures, these are then permanently bonded to your teeth using an adhesive called dental cement and you need never worry again.
Other types of adhesives are also used in dentistry. For instance, Fixodent is an adhesive powder that offers a firm hold for removable dentures and thereby increases biting strength and reduces the likelihood of the dentures coming loose or falling out.
The type of 'glue' that is used to hold the windows in position is also very specific and not the kind of glue you might have in any of your drawers. This glue works by bonding the very particles of glass to your car at the atomic level and this way provides a hold that won't allow any water to come through or for the window to fall out completely in almost any scenario or collision.
In fact, this glue is crucial as it aids the structural integrity of your vehicle should it be overturned and helps to keep water out of the vehicle, even when completely submerged!
Waterproofing chemicals is an entirely separate market that once again involves the use of adhesives. Here, adhesives are sprayed onto fabrics and other materials in order to block the pores in the material and thereby prevent water from entering. This can affect the surface of the material making is shiny or sticky, so the less noticeable the adhesive the better. In the future, this might one day use nanoparticles.
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As you can see then, the types of adhesives used in different scenarios vary greatly. So how does a company or an individual choose the type of adhesive for their intended application?
The first thing you need to consider when you choose your adhesives and fasteners is just how strong they are going to be and how much pressure they will be able to withstand. Of course, any construction is only as strong as its weakest link so if your screws can't hold your weight, than neither can your DIY chair.
That said though, just choosing the strongest possible fastener is not always the best choice, and there's a reason that we don't use the same nails in everything. The point here to remember is that a fastener should never make a stronger hold than the strength of the material. In other words, if you have a curtain and you pull on it as hard as possible, then the ideal should be for the fastener to give in rather than the material of the curtain itself. The reason for this is that it can avoid damage to the actual construction which of course is probably more expensive and more work to replace. In fact, if you use a fastener that is too strong, this can even put pressure on the material on its own and make it more likely to rip or break in the first place.
Another consideration with the strength is whether or not you want it to give way under certain circumstances. Velcro is such a useful design because it will only come unstuck if you pull it from the direction and with the correct amount of force - this means that you can undo your shoe if you wish, but that they won't just 'come' unfastened when you don't want them to.
Likewise, when using dental adhesive to secure dentures, this needs to be removed over time. The same goes for surgical glue used to seal a wound. But on the other hand, dental cement used to attach veneers should be as ‘permanent’ as possible. The same goes for actual cement used in construction and glue used to seal windshields.
As a general rule, any adhesive or fastener should be weaker than the weakest material it is binding. This way, it will always be the join that gets damaged under stress, rather than the material.
Consider the environment the fastener or adhesive is going to be used in. Just like the materials your fasteners will be subject to rain, cold and other elements if they're used outdoors so in such situations you need to avoid things that will rust easily or that will dissolve when they get wet. Likewise, you need to think about the intended use and health implications. In the aforementioned example of dental adhesives, it is important that a) the corrosive environment of the mouth does not dissolve the substance and b) there are no toxins created that could cause health issues.
Another thing to consider is the aesthetics of your fasteners and this is something often forgotten in design. There's no point designing a great looking piece of furniture only to stick huge bolts in it which will create an eyesore, so think about the fasteners that will be the most subtle and how you can use them in such a way that they don't draw unwanted attention to themselves. Use other elements of the design to hide them, or put them on the inside faces of your surfaces.