Why Choose Distributor to Industry, Structural Bonding for Transportation

Distributor to Industry, Inc. Transportation Market Solutions

How do I make bonding work for my company? You probably should be asking this question.

Structural bonding has become the mainstream assembly method in the automotive industry as well as aviation and marine.

Frankly, any industry that is related to transportation of people or freight has swung their business over to vehicles that use bonding in their construction. These vehicles have many characteristics in common. Whether they float, fly, or drive; they all must survive the abuse of vibration, heat, cold, and endless flexing. Hauling passengers or freight, all vehicles survive the rigors of daily use longer and with less maintenance and downtime if they employ modern bonding technology. Look around you going down the highway; old trucks have rivets, new ones don’t.

The aerospace industry was first because the benefits of light and strong materials and long life usually come first over cost. But as with most other technologies the costs have gone down and efficiencies have gone up. Bonding is used across many industries now because it is far faster and less costly with far fewer man hours. Old airplanes have rivets, new ones don’t.

Outside of these large well funded industries where research personnel and dollars are plentiful, we find insightful business owners of smaller companies engaged in manufacturing many other specialized vehicles. These entrepreneurs and innovators recognize that their marketplace is changing and they are looking for a way to get a leg up on their competitors. After a period of rapid growth they are now struggling to find and keep good trained welders. They know there is a faster way to fabricate while perhaps using less skilled labor. After trying what looks to be a quick simple fix using tapes or sealants or caulking to try to assemble trailers or truck bodies, they are ready to improve their process. They have had many failures and may be reluctant to try bonding again if they have tried it and lost customers. Trouble is, they probably tried methods that no auto manufacturer would consider.

Automakers do accelerated testing that the smaller guys cannot afford. They know what happens to vehicles through 15 years of environmental cycles, the freezing, the heat, the salt and chemicals. They know that you will not be successful attaching steel panels or composite panels with tape or sealants. There is not one manufacturer of cars or trucks that uses a single part adhesive or a two-sided tape for a structural bonding application. Name plates, logos, trim, insignias, yes; but not door skins, quarter panels, roof panels, and the like. Yet many truck body and trailer builders continue to use these non-structural products and have costly customer warranty returns for repair when the sheets become loose.

I have heard many of these maverick manufacturing leaders make the statement: I know there is a better way, I want to bond our (bodies, trailers, boats, cabs, ambulances, fire trucks, busses) like they do in the auto or aircraft industry.

This is the business leader that is ready to partner with DTI. For several years we have worked with small and large companies initiating bonding processes that are profitable. The vast majority of these customers are transportation related manufacturers. Our clients have included several truck service body builders, ambulance or fire and rescue body builders, manufacturers of race car haulers, horse trailers, recreational vehicles, medical trailers, communications and computer center trailers, and a long list of specialty bodies. Making money with adhesive is not about the adhesive itself, although you must have the right technology for the application.

Successful bonding is the result of first selecting the applications where bonding makes sense. Bonding will always give a better appearance, and aesthetics are important where there may be extensive use of vinyl graphics as on trailers and truck bodies. We will always steer a customer away from using adhesives in applications that should be joined by other methods.

Eliminating weld scars and distortion are important on body panels; bonding allows a reduction in body work that saves huge dollars. Less filler, primer, and sanding is required on bonded assemblies. If you weld metal it moves, especially aluminum, making fit up difficult when you try to hang doors on a body or trailer for example.

We can help you design fixtures and application methods that make bonded assemblies with fewer headaches, and lower costs. Bonding can give you dead straight sidewalls, doors that fit, assemblies that are faster to fabricate and are lighter. You can use thinner wall aluminum extrusions or steel profiles when bonding (compared to welding) and you buy metals by the pound. Lighter is always better if it is a vehicle or trailer. The number of ways we can show you to lower your manufacturing costs are staggering, and you end up with a product that is in every way more attractive, marketable, and competitive.

If the fixture is properly designed for bonding, and temperatures are controlled within an acceptable range, you make accurate, attractive parts. First we start with doors, and then we bond ramps, by now you are starting to see the benefits on your bottom line and your dealers and customers are asking for bonded floors and walls. Your customer will notice the improved fit and finish. No more rattles, it sounds solid. This is why cars built in the last 15 years have doors that do not sag, do not rust, and they sound solid when you close them.

The adhesive we sell is primarily Lord acrylic, it has been used by all the major auto and aerospace companies for years, and was the first and still the best no prep no clean metal bonder. You should avoid adhesives that require prep and cleaning, steps that are often forgotten or ignored on the production floor.

The really good news is bonding achieves rigidity and durability, better weatherproofing, quieter construction, and greater structural integrity all for lower total cost. Now you can use lighter, thinner extrusions and sheets, and dissimilar materials in cost effective combinations that you may not have considered possible. Bond aluminum to steel. Bond stainless steel to aluminum. Bond painted metals without destroying the coating. These are all possible with our help.

Metal adhesive bonding enables the use of prepainted or coated metals to lessen corrosion. Bonding skins on cabs and truck bodies avoids drilling holes or welding, eliminating places for rust, cracking, corrosion, and distortion.

Galvaneal has largely replaced bare carbon steel in the manufacture of truck bodies and steel trailers. Welding destroys the galvanized surface and allows it to rust. Bonding prevents corrosion.

Pre-painted aluminum sheets are the standard in enclosed trailers of all types. We can help you to qualify coatings that are favorable for bonding. Steel tubing and structural shapes are often pre primed. Seldom do we see bare mill finish aluminum sheets on trailers any more, although common just a few years ago.

There are lots of companies that sell adhesives. We sell focused specific metal fabricating solutions. Most of our customers had never considered bonding before they learned the ease and the cost reductions possible with our systems. Join us in the future of fabricating.

Contact us today for an assessment of how bonding can make you money.

316.263.9511 or 800.835.2838

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