Among the myriad techniques available for mating/joining similar and
dissimilar materials (metals, plastics, glass, ceramics and composites) the
adhesive bonding technology is preferred and widely used because it offers
many advantages vis-a-vis the other methods of joining, e.g., mechanical
fastening, riveting, nailing, brazing and welding.
Adhesive bonding is used for mundane (gluing of toys) to highly sophisticated
applications. Most structures are comprised of a number of individual
parts or components which have to be connected to form a system
with integral load transmission path. The structural adhesive bonding represents
one of the most enabling technologies to fabricate most complex
structural configurations involving advanced materials (e.g., composites)
for load-bearing applications.
Even a cursory look at the literature will evince that there is a brisk
activity in all relevant aspects to enhance the performance and durability
of structural adhesive joints. Recently there has been activity in harnessing
nanotechnology (use of nanomaterials) in ameliorating the existing or
devising better performing structural adhesives. It should be emphasized
that proper (adequate) surface preparation is sine qua non for high joint
strength. Concomitantly, depending on the surfaces to be bonded, there is
much interest in coming up with environmentally-benign (green) surface
cleaning and modification techniques. Apropos, surface contaminants are
a bête noire to an adhesive bond. Also, there is much interest in modeling
and simulation of structural adhesive joints.