This post is focused around 3M™ structural adhesives and will cover the following -

  • What are structural adhesives
  • What are the benefits of using a 3M™ epoxy structural adhesive
  • And can they really replace mechanical fasteners

What are structural adhesives?

High strength structural adhesives are fundamentally load-bearing formulations. They are able to form bonds that will bear considerably heavy loads. They are most commonly used for applications where durability and strength are key.

Structural adhesives have enough cohesive strength and creep resistance to permanently bond high-strength materials. They are also able to replace mechanical fasteners.

Adhesives which can be used for structural applications include acrylics, epoxies, urethanes, modified epoxies etc. We are going to focus on epoxy structural adhesives in the article.

Fun Fact From 3M

Even a bonded area of 10cm³ is sufficient enough to lift the weight of an average family car off of the ground.

What are the key benefits of using a 3M™ epoxy structural adhesives?

Industrial engineering and design professionals around the world depend on our 3M™ Scotch-weld structural adhesives to join materials where mechanical fasteners can not.

3M™ have over 60 years experience developing state of the art structural adhesives suitable for use within the automotive and aerospace industries as well as many others. 3M™ delivers innovative adhesive solutions that you can trust and rely on.

Epoxy Adhesives

Epoxy structural adhesives provide the highest strength and temperature resistance.

They are used for the toughest structural bonding applications where stress and impact can lead to bond failure. 3M™ Scotch-Weld™ Toughened Epoxy Adhesives deliver strong, long-lasting bonds, better than other structural adhesives and even mechanical joining methods in many applications, for fewer failures in extreme environments.

Key characteristics include -

  • High shear and peel strength
  • High impact and vibration resistance
  • Impressive environmental and solvent resistance

They meet a wide range of manufacturing requirements, including -

  • Handling strength: 10mins to 4hours
  • Work life: 5mins to 60mins
  • Being able to cure at room temp, this is accelerated by heat

So, can structural epoxy adhesives really replace mechanical fasteners?

Structural adhesives have some inherent performance advantages over mechanical fastening. We have collated the main advantages for you to explore. These include -

  • Improving aesthetics - enabling invisible joints
  • Weight reduction
  • Noise reduction
  • Enhanced fatigue resistance
  • Freedom of design by enabling multi-material joining
  • Enhanced productivity and efficiency
  • Reduced labor and material costs
  • Easy and accurate application
  • Enabling a super-strong, flexible bond
  • Distributing stress evenly

Our range of 3M™ epoxy structural adhesives include -

3M™ DP440

3M™ DP490

3M™ DP610

3M™ DP804

3M™ DP810

3M™ DP8005

3M™ DP8405NS

3M™ DP8805NS

If you have any questions about our structural adhesives, please get in touch with our friendly team by emailing - or by calling - 0844 4438 389.