How to Troubleshoot Adhesion Issues

There are many reasons why adhesives will have trouble bonding and it’s not usually the adhesive itself. In this article we will walk through why you might be experiencing adhesion issues and what are some steps to combat those issues.

 One of the first things to look at when you’re having failure is what is the substrate and is there a reason your particular adhesive would have trouble bonding to that substrate. For instance, when bonding plastics you have to consider that plastic is characterized as thermoset materials or thermoplastics. Thermoplastics consist of a wide range of materials such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyamide (nylon), poly-carbonate, and polyolefin. Each type of plastic is different and some are considered difficult to bond to. You may have to prep certain plastics before bonding. Heat treating and chemicals are a couple of ways to accomplish that depending on the plastic.

Is your substrate clean? Contamination on your substrate will cause adhesion issues as well. Grease, oil, or other impurities on the surface will cause loss of adhesion. Something as little as oil from skin contact can be problematic. Silicone release agents is another issue in some facilities. Providing steps to prevent cross-contamination is key in helping with keeping your substrates clean. Surface preparation is often needed for consistent adhesion. Some ways to prepare your surfaces include, washing, abrasion, and plasma treatment.

If you’re using a two part product improper mixing will cause problems in adhesion. If you have too little or too much of one component this will cause the chemical reaction within that adhesive to be compromised. This will result in the adhesive being inconsistent in its properties and lose its bond strength. Always make sure you’re dispensing the right mixture to get the best results. If you’re using mix nozzles make sure you visually inspect prior to use to ensure there’s no blockage. Always dispense a little extra out of the mixed nozzle before bonding substrates together to make sure your mix ratio is precise. These are just a few issues you may run into. If you would like to learn more on adhesive bonding or applying please connect with us at or call us at 866-602-5338.