PowderBond, a time-saving in-mould method for metal-to-composite bonding.

In many manufacturing industries, two dissimilar lightweight materials, such as a metal and a composite or plastic, need to be strongly bonded together in order to form a hybrid assembly, providing strength and flexibility. The metal will be coated for corrosion protection and both materials will undergo physical changes as part of the moulding procedure. Rather than introduce a third material - an adhesive - wouldn’t it be simpler if bonding could occur during the moulding process as a consequence of the physical properties of the materials?

PowderBond does just that. The coated metal component and composite material are placed together in the moulding system and a strong bond is formed between the materials during the normal composite forming cycle. Heat at the material interface creates the bond, fusing the parts together.

This makes for an extremely lean manufacturing process, with significant savings in time over traditional adhesive bonding methods.

There is no need to spend time preparing the composite surface, which may have required transportation to an off-site treatment facility. No time spent checking the surface activation level and no time constraint set by a limited surface activation time. Once the composite part has finished its forming cycle there is no need to spend time applying adhesive, clamping the parts together, and waiting for the adhesive to set. Using PowderBond, the metal and composite leave the mould together, already strongly bonded with up to three times the bond strength achieved with adhesives. There is no need for mechanical fixings and no risk of fibre breakage in the composite.

PowderBond is an innovative bonding process developed by Powdertech Surface Science. At the fore-front of material surface technology, we strive to use the inherent surface properties of materials to improve manufacturing processes in all aspects – swifter production, less wastage, less energy consumption, improved quality of product.

Aluminium bonded to polypropylene with PowderBond