Aerospace applications make use of several types of structural adhesives, which mainly differ in their chemical composition, load-carrying capacity, form, and reactivity or inertness. Some of the common types of structural adhesives include:
These adhesives cure quickly at room temperature and are applicable for a variety of substrates, such as glass or metal, for material flexibility. They are advantageous for their high shear, tensile, and peel strengths, as well as their impact resistance. Structural adhesives are applicable in numerous aerospace tasks, including adhering harness clips or bonding magnets within electric motors.
These one- or two-part adhesives also cure quickly, with options for room-temperature, thermal, or UV curing. Epoxies typically have high shear and peel strengths even after exposure to extreme thermal or environmental conditions, chemicals, or impact. This makes them a durable option for bonding dissimilar materials and gap filling. Also, as weight is a critical consideration in aerospace applications, epoxies are ideal for their light weight and low density.
Another adhesive type that cures at room temperature, cyanoacrylates cure within seconds to a variety of substrates after exposure to moisture in the air. Their superior shear and tensile strengths make them a good option in applications that require permanent bonding, quick repairs to items such as interior trim, or working in conjunction with another adhesive that is slow to cure. Cyanoacrylates also go by the names CA adhesives, superglues, or instant adhesives, among others.