Anyone who’s ever done any woodworking or model-making knows that adhesives are a wonderful thing. They can make a strong joint with little effort, and save a lot of time.
But did you know that there are industrial-grade adhesives that can save the day on much larger projects too? They’re not always available in hardware stores, so you have to know where to get them!
Steeves Agencies, a family-owned, Winnipeg-based hardware distribution company, has been supplying manufacturers with industrial adhesives for more than 20 years.
Serving companies that make hot tubs, kayaks, and a range of other things, one of their favourite calls was to a nearby repair shop that was having problems with an Argo all terrain vehicle used to survey power lines in remote areas.
Argos are known for their durability and versatility, not to mention their ability to operate on land or in the water. This particular Argo had developed a leak in its inner tub, caused by wear from the tracks rubbing the inside of the wheel well. A crescent-shaped scar on a rounded part of the tub, this wasn’t going to be an easy patch job.
One suggestion of a sheet metal patch using lots of silicone and rivets made little sense to the owner – why add more holes to a machine that is subject to massive vibration?It would likely only create more leaks (and headaches) down the road.
The biggest challenge with this repair is that the tub of the Argo is made of low-density polyethylene, which is particularly difficult to bond to anything. Because of this, repair shops often resort to “mechanical” fixes like rivets, metal patches and silicone. In this situation, the constant vibration of the machine could have caused the rivets to wear even larger holes in the plastic. Furthermore, there was no guarantee that silicone would provide a long-lasting seal.
With the help of their technical experts at Adhesive Systems, the Steeves team identified the best adhesive to use on the tub of the Argo is their Maximum Performance 2:1 epoxy, the MP54420. With its high-viscosity formula and 20 to 30-minute fixture time, it has time to flow into large (and small) gaps, then cure to a hard but flexible finish.
Plastic tape – like packing or insulation tape – created a “backing” on the underside of the hole, then they applied the adhesive. A coffee break and 30 minutes later, the adhesive had set up nicely. With another few hours to cure, the patch was complete and the Argo had a waterproof, flexible patch!
The newly-repaired Argo was field-ready the same day, and the total cost for this repair was about $100 – no messy silicones or sheet metal required. The adhesive works well in a range of temperatures (-60F to 250F), and at the end of the process, plenty of adhesive remained for future repairs. The total cost even includes a reusable dispensing gun.
To learn more about how Steeves Agencies’ industrial-grade adhesives can make short work of your projects, visit steevesagencies.com