The 9 most common errors when using industrial adhesives

Editorial team|5 minutes to read

When you buy industrial adhesives, you expect a high standard of performance. But even with the best products, you can achieve poor results without proper planning. Also, gluing, as an industrial joining method, can be compared to welding, soldering and other joints. In this article, together with adhesive specialist Henkel, we have identified the nine most common errors in the use of industrial adhesives.

Industrial adhesives have been developed for a wide range of applications. These adhesives can withstand heavy impacts, offer a high shear strength and maintain a strong bonding even in extreme temperatures. However, without the correct preparation before, during and after the use of adhesives, the strength, flexibility and durability of the bondin may be severely compromised. This results in unnecessary costs, wasted time and extra maintenance. Read more to prevent the 9 most common mistakes.

1. The surface to be glued is not well prepared
Good preparation is very important. When using industrial adhesives, it is important to take careful note of the product specifications and the industrial assembly. For an effective bonding, the choice of the product, the surface and the cleanliness of the substrates must all be taken into account. After all, each adhesive solution may require a particular surface preparation. Cleaning, light sanding, re-cleaning and the use of a possible primer may form part of this process. Read the instructions on any adhesive, consult the handbook for the products you are bonding, and ensure you have identified the correct preparation for the parts or materials being bonded.

2. Using the wrong cleaner or using no cleaner at all
The cleaner you use has a major impact on the quality of the adhesive bond. When you use a brake cleaner, an oil film remains on the surface. Choose a cleaner from the product line of the industrial adhesive you use, such as a cleaner from Loctite or Teroson. These cleaners provide a clean adhesive surface. Matching the appropriate cleaner for a surface is essential.

3. Using the wrong adhesive product for the application
It is important that you choose the correct adhesive solution for the application. Industrial adhesives, from instant adhesives to threadlocker adhesives, can only deliver optimum performance when used for the correct application. Is the machine used indoors or outdoors? Are there any temperature changes? If in doubt about the application of your particular adhesive, contact the relevant product specialist at Kramp.

4. Using an adhesive with an expired use-by date
In order to offer a customer product warranty, manufacturers test the lifespan of the products they make. There is good reason that chemical products, such as adhesives, have an expiry date. Has your product already passed its expiry date? Then its quality and performance can no longer be guaranteed. Never use adhesive products with expired best-before dates; not only is the bonding likely to fail, or fail sooner, but depending on the application, there could be serious safety consequences. 

5. Not allowing the adhesive to cure sufficiently and/or load too quickly
Industrial bonding has been widely used in all sorts of environments and for all sorts of applications. It is often seen as a quick solution. But when you are facing a short down time, then your choice of adhesive solution is crucial. Don’t take shortcuts on recommended application or cure times, and always use the appropriate adhesive for the task in hand, not just one which cures faster! The use of an activator might bring a solution for faster curing of the adhesive bonding. To double-check whether the adhesive you want to use will do the job well, get in touch with your Kramp product specialist.

6. Not using adhesive primer in certain situations
Are you finding gaps, leaks or complete detachment? A pre-treatment to improve the adhesive bond is sometimes required. Certain materials, such as some plastics which are difficult to bond, require a primer. This is sometimes forgotten. To improve the bonding surface, it is best to check the product specifications. By following product specifications strictly, you can save a lot of long-term frustration and expense.

7. Using the wrong mixing ratio of two-component products
Some people use an incorrect ratio or mixer nozzle when mixing two-component products, either to save money, by rushing, or because the quantities are difficult to judge. Getting the mix ratio wrong costs you more money, time and energy in the long run. Two-component products have been developed to chemically harden at a very precise mixing ratio. Fortunately, most two-component adhesives have a specific mixer nozzle that doses the adhesive in exactly the right proportions. Always choose the mixer prescribed by the manufacturer and avoid manual mixing if possible.

8. Not considering the load on the adhesive
What forces are exerted on your adhesive bond? The load must be calculated in advance to ensure that the adhesive bond has sufficient strength to withstand those forces. Your product manual should detail minimum and maximum loads and forces, but if you are in any doubt, ask a Kramp product specialist.

9. Not considering environmental factors at the time of bonding
Various environmental factors have a major impact on the quality of certain adhesive bonds. When bonding, always take the following factors into account:

  • Is the bonding taking place indoors or outside?
  • What is the humidity?
  • What is the ambient temperature and what operating temperatures must the bonding withstand?
  • What is the scope and purpose of application?
  • What is the subsurface and what are the implications for the preparation and method of bonding, and the adhesive you need?

Do you have any questions?
You will find a wide range of adhesives from Henkel on our webshop. If you have any questions about surface preparation or which adhesive is most effective for the task ahead, contact a Kramp product specialist or us via We are here to make sure that each job only needs doing once!

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