Do you have problems bonding HIPS locators to ACM? - Innova Solutions
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News - Do you have problems bonding HIPS locators to ACM?

 

Do you have problems bonding HIPS locators to ACM?

Bonding HIPS locators to aluminium composite material is fast becoming a problem for the sign industry, as selecting the right adhesive for the job can be tough, without the right information. Knowledge is power, and if you are like many of the other signmakers out there that struggle with choosing the right adhesive, then carry on reading, as below are Innova’s top tips for locator bonding.



Selecting the right adhesive for the job.

There are numerous types of locators used throughout the sign industry, and these are used to secure signs manufactured from a wide range of materials.

Metal locators are by far the most practical to use, in conjunction with an adhesive, as the bases are perforated to allow the adhesive to flow through and encapulate the locator.

These come in all different shapes, sizes, and metal compounds, but thankfully the appliction process remains the same.

For Mild Steel locators we would recommend our SignFix 7 adhesive, for most sign materials where aesthetics allow. For Aluminium Composite we would strongly recommned the SignFix 8, to prevent the risk of witness marks on the face of the sign.

Brass locators do seem to be a popular choice at the moment, however, take care when bonding brass parts. Preparation of the material is key to achieving the maximum level of adhesion.

Due to its oxidising properties, you must abrade clean, prime and bond in quick succession. A delay in the process would allow the surface to oxidise, which could prove troublesome when applying the glue.

Brass also expands and contracts at a different rate to other metals, which could cause brittle adhesives to break.

For brass locators we would recommend SignFix 18, as this adhesive meets the high demands of the material.

Plastic locators can be subcategorised into Acrylic and Plastic Blend locators. Originally signmakers would use either clear Acrylic locators or white Nylon locators, however, we have found that locators have recently been formed using a blend of many low surface energy plastics, which makes them nutoriously tough to bond.

Acrylic locators (typically clear) have a high surface energy, which allows our Acrylic based 2-Part methacrylates to adhere with ease. Depending on the substrate you are bonding to, you would select the adhesive based on the following criteria;

  • Colour (Aesthetics of the sign, will the glue be seen at all)
  • Material
  • Transparency of material
  • Heat Reaction (Witness Marks)
  • Weight of the sign

From this you can determine if you need a cold curing adhesive, such as SignFix 8, or a standard methacrylate such as SignFix 7 or SignFix 12. Aluminium Composite Material is what most signmakers will have trouble bonding to, as a standard hot curing methacrylate can cause witness marks on the face of the ACM, where as the SignFix 8, won’t.

Plastic Blend locators are typically manufactured from HIPS and Nylon, but they can also contain other low surface energy plastics that are troublesome to adhere to.

We suggest that, for Nylon locators, you use our SignFix 8 adhesive, as this is specifically designed to adhere to the plastic, with the added bonus that it will not distort your ACM, should this be your material of choice.

For HIPS locators, we would suggest a standard methacrylate adhesive, such as the SignFix 12, to grip the HIPS and securely hold the locator in place. For ACM to HIPS we would strongly recommend that you get in touch with a member of our team to run through the application, so that we can provide you with the right solution.

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Metal Locator Bonding Procedure

  1. Abrade the locator and the panel surface
  2. Clean the surfaces with Novabond Surface Cleaner
  3. Pool the adhesive onto the substrate
  4. Push the locator into the adhesive turning it slightly
  5. Allow the adhesive to push through the holes to grip the base
  6. Take care not to disperse the adhesive from under the locator

Plastic Locator Bonding Procedure

  1. Abrade the locator and the panel surface
  2. Clean the surfaces with Novabond Surface Cleaner
  3. Pool the adhesive onto the substrate
  4. Push the locator into the adhesive turning it slightly
  5. Allow the adhesive to sit level with the edge of the locator
  6. Take care not to disperse the adhesive from under the locator

  1. Abrading and cleaning the locator will increase the surface area for the adhesive to flow into, it will also remove any coatings that may be used during the manufacturing process
  2. Leave a minimum of 0.7mm of adhesive under the locator
  3. If you recess the locator, create a larger area than the base so that that adhesive can encompass the locator
  4. Know what plastic is in your locator – ask your supplier for the datasheet.

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