Power bonding in construction: the essentials

Adhesives are widely used across the construction industry. The most common uses include laying carpets, fixing ceramic tiles, sealing wood, heating and ventilation and in roofing.

Power bonding in construction

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Adhesives can also be used for other, bigger jobs in the construction industry, especially given the recent developments in the manufacture of heavy-duty construction adhesives. Adhesives.org has more information.

What are the difficulties?

There are several issues that have hindered the use of adhesives in the past, particularly when it comes to bonding concrete to stone for construction purposes. The first of these is that epoxy-style adhesives, which have been available for some time, require extremely accurate mixing if they are to be strong enough to bond two such heavy materials. Even slight differences in the mixing can lead to a weaker adhesive “grab”, which in turn leads to unsatisfactory bonding results.

The second issue has always been that of the drying time. Epoxy adhesives, unlike the new metal bonding adhesives, have very long drying times. During the drying (or “curing”) period, the materials being fixed need to be supported very firmly, as any movement or slippage could affect the result. Some epoxy adhesives can take up to a week to dry; this is a real disadvantage if you must support the materials for all that time.

The third issue is that of flexibility. If you are bonding concrete to stone, you are most likely doing so for an external application. This means that the finished result will be exposed to the weather, and in the UK, that can mean extremes of heat and cold (although mainly cold!) in addition to wind and rain. Under these circumstances, there will be expansion and contraction of the materials, and different material will expand and contract at different rates. Traditional epoxy adhesives lack the flexibility needed to cope properly with this movement.

What’s the solution?

The new metal bonding adhesives such as those from CT1 are polymer adhesives that will bind stone to concrete, metal, wood, or tiles.

The new polymer adhesives dry extremely quickly, have a very strong grab, and are flexible enough to deal with all sorts of external conditions. They can, for example, fix granite or stone flagstones vertically with no support time need for drying and no slippage. The grab is instant.