Bonding – Staking – Potting – Encapsulation: Choosing the Right Adhesive for Your Application

by on May 6, 2021

Appli-Tec adhesive materials are used in hundreds of applications – from NASA’s Goddard Webb space telescope project, and other mission-critical aerospace applications, to medical devices and industrial applications.

While we work closely with engineers to recommend or customize an adhesive formulation for their specialized application, our main requests regard adhesives for bonding, staking, potting, and encapsulation.

To make it easy for you to find the right material, we’ve added filters to our Materials & TDS page. Now you can filter our products by Category, Material Type, Outgas, and most importantly, Application Type. 🙌

As you’ll see when you play around with the filters, many of our adhesives can be used across multiple application types (explained below). Our 0176 Epoxy, for example, features low shrinkage during cure, bonds well to most substrates, and works as a gap filler and staking material.

For electro-optic aerospace applications requiring bonding or staking, Appli-Thane 7340 is an ideal choice. The polyurethane material won’t harm, bend or break highly fragile substrates, such as glass and ceramic, when exposed to vibration and extreme thermal cycling.

Another versatile material, 5308 Epoxy can be used for all four application types. Featuring a three-hour pot life, the material was designed specifically for underfilling, staking and encapsulating electronics on circuit boards, as well as potting and encapsulating power supplies, transformers, and coils.

“Off-the-shelf” adhesive materials + hundreds of others

We take great pride in helping you choose the correct adhesive material for your application. If you have any questions, simply contact us — by phone, email or our RFQ form. We can work closely with you to test materials in our lab or help you analyze your own in-house results. We can also recommend replacement adhesives for materials that have been discontinued.

In addition to the “off-the-shelf” materials listed on our Materials & TDS page, Appli-Tec offers a variety of other adhesives for specialty applications. We can also custom formulate a material for your application.

If you don’t see what you need on our Materials chart, please inquire!

Application Types Explained

Bonding

Bonding is a general term that denotes the chemical joining or bond between two substrates. While this definition sounds straightforward, a good chemical bond depends on many factors, including the adhesive’s chemical and physical characteristics, the substrates being bonded, proper surface preparation for wetting, and cure temperature with the optimized cure time.

Appli-Tec offers over 20 adhesive materials suitable for bonding applications, including urethanes, epoxies, and poly sulfides. Whether you need to high thermal conductivity with low outgassing properties or long pot life, we have a material to suit your bonding needs.

Be sure to read our Controlling Bond Line Thickness tech tip for additional information about bonding.

Staking

Staking is the process of applying an adhesive to strategically support component leads during vibration and shock exposure. (Engineers sometimes refer to this process as “tacking.”) Aerospace applications often require staking because of thermal cycling.

appli-tec-pre-mixed-adhesive-syringes

We offer 14 different materials suitable for staking applications, including low outgas urethanes and epoxies that are thermally conductive or insulative.

Potting & Encapsulation

Potting and encapsulation serve to protect sensitive components or assemblies from environmental exposure. Adhesives used for potting or encapsulation can also offer thermal conductivity to remove heat, provide electrical insulation, and protect against shock and vibration.

Often used interchangeably, potting and encapsulation are similar processes but differ in one key way.

A potted part often has a housing that holds the assembly and the potting adhesive – the adhesive is in the final part.

Potting Compounds - Appli-Tec

Appli-Tec offers high-performance potting compounds specifically designed for potting, staking, and encapsulating electronics, power supplies, coils, and transformers.

Encapsulation often doesn’t involve a housing or external container for the adhesive.

adhesive-viscosity-appli-tec

Circuit board being encapsulated.

Appli-Tec offers 10 adhesive materials designed for potting, including our thermally conductive 5300 Series Epoxies. Developed for electronics applications, including power supplies, transformers, and coils, each material has its own performance characteristics and cure options. We also offer seven materials suitable for encapsulation applications.

Alisha Adams

Alisha Adams is the Research and Development Lead for Appli-Tec. Her expertise includes formulating epoxy and acrylate adhesives for the electronics market.

See more articles by Alisha »

How to get started

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