Super glue – somehow it doesn’t always seem so super when you’re using it at home. You skim the instructions – then put too much product on – you hold it together for half the amount of time stated on the back and then get bored as the two items you’re trying to stick together inevitably slip and slide while coating your fingers for good measure.
The result – a sticky mess that doesn’t seem to hold. So, it comes as no surprise that many of us don’t hold much faith in the concept of glueing stuff together.
And yet, in the manufacturing world, we are told that glue is now the gold standard in bonding and adhesion, with traditional mechanical assembly on the way out.
Just take a passing glance at the current manufacturing techniques in any part of the transport industry, and you will see that the use of glue is surprisingly common, a perhaps alarming finding for those glue-covered doubters still trying to hold together their DIY projects at home.
Trains, planes and automobiles… and skyscrapers
High-performance cars, for example, are no longer welded together – they are glued together. This is because spot-welding creates concentrated stress points, whereas adhesive bonding spreads the load, allowing them to sustain shear forces of 1,500-2,000 psi.
The proof of the effectiveness of glue can be seen clearly in the aftermath of a car smash on a Formula 1 track. Large bits of a car strewn across the track are typically the bits that didn’t break apart in the crash. And why didn’t they break apart? – because they were glued. As for the small bits of debris that are left on the track – well you’re more than likely looking at the non-glued contingent of the car.
The same trend is evident in trains and planes and even spaceships. Products that used to be riveted together are now being glued together. High tech glues can reduce weight, noise, vibration and cost, they also take away the need for fasteners, the need for holes or the associated equipment required to prepare these. Indeed, industrial glue is now so advanced that this will be the stuff that binds future buildings – even skyscrapers.
In short, those at the cutting edge of manufacturing use glue – and not because they hope if they hold it together for a bit that it might do the job, but because they understand precisely how to use glue.
High tech bonding can withstand extreme pressures and is a culmination of the meticulous application of the right materials, material dynamics, quantities, temperatures and pressures – with no margin for error.
If this doesn’t sound like the way that you apply glue at home, then you might just be on the path toward understanding why your fingers, and not your project, are currently glued together.
Those at the cutting edge of design
Like Formula 1 race cars, Westbury windows and doors join those at the cutting edge of manufacturing and engineering.
The company has spent the last 30 years in pursuit of excellence. And to achieve that it has deconstructed, reconstructed and re-engineered every last component of its products to a point where it has effectively revolutionised the market.
Westbury understands that real strength and durability in manufacture come from using the most scientifically appropriate materials for the job. And like all of the most technically advanced manufacturers, they understand that glue will deliver the most effective bonding system.
Bonds and barriers
The glue used within the Westbury jointing system on our windows and doors not only creates a bond that delivers on mechanical strength, but also prevents moisture ingress (moisture is the enemy of wood as ingress to the material will make it expand and contract).
In fact, when our glue is exposed to moisture it actually gains strength making the bond even stronger. This makes it perfect for joining wood – meaning that weather variations will have no impact. Add to this the outer layer of Accoya wood that comes with Westbury products as standard, and the system is indestructible.
People who know Westbury products, know that they do not crack, warp or break down, and this is because Westbury uses a unique formula glue, applied at a specific temperature and that is compressed under extreme force.
- In order to get the glue to the right temperature, we heat it to 15ºC. It even has its own jacket to keep it warm! (see below)
- In order to apply the required pressure, Westbury has invested £100,000 in a state-of-the-art vertical clamp (no expense is spared when you’re looking for perfection) that can deliver an operating pressure of 2595 kg.
The glue then invades the pores and cracks of the two surfaces, increasing the area in contact with the glue.
And unlike the slipping and sliding and not quite sticking that you might experience at home, Westbury clamps its products in place to a specific time frame for each product type until the glue is dry, which ensures that the electrons present on the surfaces of both objects are transferred – meaning that the products are also bonded at a molecular level. Once bonded, this increases the strength of the joint beyond that of the core wood material.
As a result, there is no movement in the joint. And no movement means no moisture ingress, no cracking and no repainting or maintenance. Westbury incorporates glue into its process to create a reliable, stable and trouble-free product that won’t require adjustment or maintenance. Every step that Westbury takes in its manufacturing process contributes to the bigger picture of quality, stability, durability and ultimately longevity.
So next time you proclaim that glue is useless – maybe just follow the instructions a little more carefully, because when used properly, today’s adhesives truly are the glue that holds everything together!