When a large retailer needed help to rectify a bonding failure on the component it was importing from China, it turned to Advanced Adhesives for a solution.
The component was an outdoor garden light assembly which had two resin rabbits bonded to a light dome. However, all 7,000 of the products arrived from China with the rabbits de-bonded and loose in the boxes. The adhesive had bonded to the resin rabbits but had totally failed on the polypropylene dome surface.
The reason for the failure was that the adhesive used in China wasn’t capable of forming a bond to polypropylene of any longevity. Polypropylene is a notoriously difficult material to bond due to its low surface energy level; standard adhesives are incapable of wetting out onto this type of surface, and a bond of any great strength isn’t achievable with the vast majority of adhesives.
The retailer in question was well aware of Advanced Adhesives and its technical know-how, having worked with the company some years before on another bonding issue involving rubber ducks. “Battery cells inserted within the ducks were falling out during shipping to the UK, again from China,” says Matthew Petwell, production manager at MCR. “Advanced Adhesives provided not only a bonding solution for the rework, but also advised us with the information needed to tell our Chinese suppler where to source the right adhesive in China and how to apply it to solve the problem. It was critical for a further 500,000 rubber ducks due to be shipped to us from China.”
With the new problem with the garden light assemblies, Advanced Adhesives was Petwell’s first port of call for a solution. “Within 24 hours, Advanced Adhesives had a solution for us, including not only a suitable adhesive, but also a cost assessment of each light and a bonding process we could adopt here in the UK.”
With a vast knowledge of a huge range of substrates, their application requirements and the impact of different environments, Advanced Adhesives is adept at finding or formulating the right bonding solution for any given task.
Advanced Adhesives technical director Graham Crozier says: “We recommended our PP3000 adhesive to bond the components. PP3000 is a two-part structural adhesive developed for bonding low surface energy materials like polypropylene and polyethylene; it is used in major motor vehicle applications and other critical industrial applications, and PP3000 was an obvious first choice adhesive to use in this application.”
In a happy ending to the story, all of the bunnies are now re-bonded to the light assemblies, and are now glowing in gardens throughout the UK.
Crozier summarises: “This was a fun application, but it certainly wasn’t a trivial problem for our customer. And it demonstrated yet again our technical ability and the performance of our adhesives. Of course, we don't just supply adhesives to bond rubber ducks and bunnies, but if one of our customers has a problem, we're here to find a solution.”