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This coated silica additive improves adhesive performance

By Scott Jenkins |

A recently launched, polymer-coated, fumed silica additive improves the performance of structural adhesives — those designed to bear loads. The new additive is capable of reducing the adhesive’s application viscosity, while simultaneously improving its ability to maintain a bead profile (sag resistance). Known as Cab-O-Sil Ultrabond, the additive was developed by Cabot Corp. (Boston, Mass.; www.cabot-corp.com) for epoxy and polyurethane adhesives applications in the automotive, aerospace and other industries. When added to an adhesive, the properties of the Cab-O-Sil allow it to self-assemble into three-dimensional networks (photo) that increase the effective viscosity of the adhesive and prevent it from sagging. With Cab-O-Sil added, the adhesive material behaves thixotropically, meaning its viscosity decreases as shear forces are applied. As soon as a shear force is applied, such as in pumping or dispensing the material, the 3D networks break down and the adhesive flows more easily, explains Elizabeth Sims, global applications development lead for the Performance Segment of Cabot Corp. By carefully controlling the size and morphology of the silica particles, as well as the surface chemistry of the silicone-coated particles,…
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