Canadian Manufacturing

Using adhesives in secured fastening and retaining

Threadlockers and retaining compounds ensure reliability and endurance in punishing applications

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—Sponsored article by Henkel Canada Corp.

Polaris depends on LOCTITE adhesives to ensure that its snowmobiles hold up to the punishing demands of extreme sports. With expertise in systems engineering, Polaris designs and manufactures high-performance snowmobiles, all-terrain recreational vehicles, off-road vehicles and motorcycles.

To ensure that Polaris snowmobiles endure wide temperature fluctuations, hard landings, vibration and extreme impacts while continuing to perform reliably, engineers trust Loctite anaerobic adhesives—specifically threadlockers and retaining compounds—to ensure the safety of the sleds and eliminate any risk of assembly failure.

Threadlockers are used on all threaded fasteners throughout the machine, eliminating vibrational loosening. At critical interfaces such as engine mounts, these adhesives permanently secure the threaded fasteners that attach the engine to the chassis. Failure here could mean disaster.

Then there are the interference fits, which join cylindrical parts such as shafts, bearings or bushings to smaller gears or housings, and rely upon extremely high friction to lock parts together so that even large amounts of torque cannot separate the bond. To achieve maximum joint strength and optimal performance, these joints must be highly precise. The inner part of the interference fit is machined to be imperceptibly bigger than the mating hole of the outer part. The larger component is then forced into the smaller part, both deform slightly to fit together, and the two parts combine and operate as one.

But even when the appropriate allowances for interference fitted parts are painstakingly calculated to achieve maximum friction, failure can occur. And in order to calculate and achieve such exacting levels of dimensional precision, the cost and production time increase dramatically.

Retaining compounds enable engineers to design robust, lightweight interference fitted joints at reduced cost and in less time than traditional interference fits by reducing the required dimensional precision. Retaining compounds provide strength and reliability and are increasingly used in general industry to secure interference fitted parts.

Using retaining compounds also increases the number of viable substrate materials for an application and how it seals an assembly to prevent corrosion. Without a retaining adhesive, the high levels of stress on the joined components limits the materials that can safely be used. Only certain materials can withstand the stresses and forces required to merge the two parts. For example, powdered metal or aluminum may fail while steel will easily achieve the required joint strength requirements. A retaining adhesive strengthens the overall assembly, freeing the builder to use a wider variety of substrate materials.

Polaris engineering specifies Loctite products throughout their manufacturing process.

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