The Inevitable Issues with Traditional Joining Methods


Traditional joining methods have been used to bond all manner of materials pretty much since the dawn of recorded history. From nuts to nails to screws to bolts and so on, we’ve become somewhat dependent on these effective yet somewhat data joining methods. And then of course came the advent of welding, which in the case of many materials transformed the way the world looked at joining and bonding entirely.

However, as time moves forwards, there’s another approach to bonding materials that is taking over as the new standard. All over the country, 3M tape suppliers are offering the kinds of high quality, custom adhesive products that are being used in place of traditional joining methods in a variety of settings. Depending on the business in question and its primary daily operations, making the switch to a high-quality adhesive really can make an enormous difference.

But given the fact that we’ve relied on traditional joining methods for so long, why is it that a replacement is necessary? Is there anything specifically wrong with traditional joining methods?

Not perhaps wrong as such, but when it comes to getting the job done as efficiently and satisfactorily as possible, there will always be certain issues when it comes to traditional joining methods.

1. Weight

For example, in many industries such as manufacturing and automotive, it is always preferable to keep the weight of finished products as low as possible.  Which can be problematic when using mechanical fixings, given the way in which each and every one of them adds further weight to the item in question.  The amount of additional weight will of course vary significantly from one item to the next, but it is still additional weight that is undesirable. As such, one of the benefits of making the switch to industrial adhesives is the way in which it practically eliminates all additional weight from the equation. In instances where it’s preferable to keep weights to absolute minimums, adhesives can make a real difference.

2. Appearance

Then there’s the question of appearance, as whether using traditional mechanical fixings or welding, it is almost impossible to avoid them being at least some impact on the appearance of the final product. Once again, the extent to which the appearance is affected will vary significantly from one product to the next. Nevertheless, these are not the kinds of joining methods that create invisible bonds. By contrast, the ideal custom adhesive product can and will produce the kinds of bonds that are 100% invisible.

3. Time and Effort

While it’s not to say that working with most mechanical fixings is particularly complicated, it is nonetheless a time-consuming job and one that requires a certain amount of effort. This is something that steps up significantly when it comes to welding, which not only takes time to complete but also requires a great deal of skill and effort. One of the biggest bonuses of making the switch to industrial adhesives is the way in which the required time and effort to use them can be reduced to absolute minimums. Little to no training is required and the whole process is accelerated significantly.

4. Costs

Of course, in every business area there are few priorities more important than keeping costs down. After all, it’s often said that every penny saved is as good as a penny earned. Most examples of traditional joining methods may not be particularly expensive, but this doesn’t mean that significant savings can’t be made by making the switch to industrial adhesives. This is particularly true in instances where complex welding processes may be used as standard, which call for not only costly equipment, but the costs of training and paying specialist staff to get the job done. With industrial adhesives, very little training or specialist skills are required whatsoever.

5. Health and Safety

Last but not least, and in keeping with the above point, there’s also the health and safety element take into account. Approached appropriately, there’s no reason why mechanical fixings and welding cannot be safe. Nevertheless, they will always pose a certain risk to the workforce – risks that can be eliminated by making the switch to industrial adhesives. While it’s not to say that there aren’t also various health and safety implications to take into account when using industrial adhesives, their likelihood of causing accidents and injuries is considerably lower than that of comparable traditional joining methods.