The “Universal Bonding” research
project led by CSP aims to establish a glue stronger than super glue for high
performance plastics commonly used in industrial applications. Most glues
function on a principle akin to a Velcro – the glue hardens in the holes and
crevices of the material surface, giving it a hold to keep the two surfaces
together. CSP aims to go beyond that by putting together a glue that can
actively tie the two surfaces together rather than simply Velcro-ing them. This
would result in a much stronger adhesion and a more permanent effect. This glue
would target commonly used plastics for industrial applications, including in
fields such as the automotive industry. Such a glue would replace bolts and
other metal parts used to join plastic elements together today. Replacing these
metal parts will make vehicles lighter, which in turn will lead to a lower fuel
consumption and help with a greener future.
Cars, planes, and other vehicles are composed of a combination of metal and high-performance plastic parts, all put together into a functional and safe structure. Plastic parts are manufactured separately and brought together using metallic parts such as bolts. Cumulatively, these elements whose only role is to bring structural integrity to the whole account for a non-negligible added weight to the overall vehicle, resulting in a higher fuel consumption to account for this added weight.
This work won the support of UKRI through Innovate UK's Smart Grant.