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Adhesives and Sealants

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Adhesive Curing Methods

After dispensing, Dow Corning ® Adhesives are cured at room temperature or by heat, depending on the specific product being used (see data sheets for curing details of individual products).

For best results, surfaces to be adhered should be clean of grease, oil and other surface contaminants. Common cleaners for substrate preparation include Dow Corning’s line of OS Fluids, isopropyl alcohol, toluene and acetone. 

Room Temperature Cure

A room temperature cure process can be used for adhesives that are either moisture cure or condensation cure products. After being applied, the adhesive is simply allowed to cure at ambient room conditions. Condensation cure products will cure in 30 minutes to 4 hours. Moisture cure products will require several hours to cure or need to be left undisturbed overnight as the cure is dependent on moisture from the air permeating through the material.  One-part moisture cure products will not cure in thick section (they are generally restricted to bond lines of 0.25 inch/6 mm or less). They are also not meant for confined cure, since they need moisture from the atmosphere for curing. For thicker bond lines, a rule-of-thumb is that 0.25 inch/6 mm thickness will take roughly 7 days for full cure under normal room temperature conditions. Two-part condensation cure products will cure in either thin or thick section and can cure when confined.  Refer to the product data sheets (link to Family data sheet) for typical curing times of individual products. 

Room temperature cure image

Heat Curing

Heat cured adhesives can be either one-part or two-part products. Typically, cure and the development of adhesion are not achieved until the material is heated above 100C. Newly developed formulations cure more quickly at temperatures as low as 90C. At these temperatures, the adhesives will generally cure in about an hour. For all the heat cure adhesives higher temperatures will result in faster cure. Limitations on cure speed are generally dependent on the temperatures that the unit and components are able to withstand. Heat curing can be done in a batch or conveyor oven. Heat cured adhesives will cure in either thin or thick section and can cure when confined.

The heat cure adhesives can have their cure poisoned (inhibited) by certain materials due to the type of catalyst used, resulting in poor or incomplete cure. With a mild case of inhibition, the adhesive can appear to be cured normally, but adhesion is poor. If you have problems with poor cure or adhesion, contact Dow Corning’s technical experts in the Application Center.

Heat curing adhesive

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  1. Adhesives and Sealants Tutorial

  2. Key Characteristics and Properties of Adhesives

  3. Adhesives and Sealants Tutorial - Bonding Mechanisms

  4. Adhesives and Sealants Applications

  5. Comparison of Product Families

  6. Basics of Processing Adhesives

  7. Adhesive Curing Methods

  8. Tell Us What You Need

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