Nordson EFD

Interesting Applications of Two Component Cartridges

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Courtesy of Nordson EFD

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Two component cartridges are used to package a wide variety of materials used for many different purposes. Many of the applications for cartridges are widely known throughout the adhesives and sealants industry. Many people, however, may not be aware of some of the newer or more obscure applications for this convenient form of packaging. This paper will discuss some of these less known applications as well as reviewing some of the more common uses for two component adhesives and sealants packaged in two component cartridges.

The adhesives and sealants commonly packaged in cartridges are epoxies, polyurethanes, acrylics, polyesters, and silicones. Generally speaking, the most common uses for high performance adhesives are bonding applications where the adhesive is used in place of mechanical fasteners or a welding process. General industrial assembly, automotive collision repair, and anchoring in concrete are the areas with the greatest concentration of applications for two component adhesives and sealants. Applications in these market segments will be addressed following the discussion of the some of the more specialized uses for cartridges we have seen lately.

Caries Dissolver:

A company in Sweden is marketing a product that dissolves decayed material in teeth, packaged in TAH 9ml two component cartridges. One component of this product is a very low viscosity sodium hypochlorite solution. The other is an amino acid gel. Placing a small amount of mixed material on a tooth prepares it for filling without subjecting the patient to the discomfort we all associate with the dentist's drill.

Horse Shoe Installation and Horse Hoof Repair:

This is an emerging market for two component adhesives. Increasingly, horse shoes are glued instead of nailed into place. Cracked hoofs are repaired, heels and side walls are built up, and weight distributing pads are installed on the bottom of hoofs using two component urethane materials packaged in cartridges and mixed with static mixers.

Sport Shoe Repair and Protection Material:

Sport shoes are often subjected to very rough treatment. Baseball pitchers, for example, drag the toe of their shoe through the dirt each time they throw the ball. A tough two component polyurethane is being marketed for application to the area of the sport shoe, hockey skate, work boot, etc that is most prone to damage. This product's web site claims it is being used by 100% of Major League Baseball teams.


Two component epoxies and urethanes that are especially formulated to provide a high gloss protective dome or lens over a variety of substrates are available in cartridges. These products are often optically clear. Making wristwatch watch crystals and protective coatings over solar panels are among the many uses of this technology.

Mechanical / Adhesive Fastening Systems:

Drilling holes through the composite materials used in many aviation, marine, and other transportation applications can cause back face damage such as fiber splitting and delamination and can allow moisture into the structure, especially in sandwich panels. Nevertheless, the assembly process of aircraft and boats requires threaded attachment points and cable tie mounts. A company in Carson City, Nevada specializes in mechanical fasteners such as studs, nut plates, and cable ties that are adhered to surfaces that cannot be drilled through using two part acrylic adhesives.

Potting (Electronics):

Two component epoxies and polyurethane potting materials are used in electronic device housings to improve vibration, shock, and water resistance of assemblies, increase mechanical strength, and provide electrical insulation. A variety of products are available, many especially formulated for situations where high adhesion, non-corrosive, or thermally conductive materials are required.

Solid Surface Countertops:

Solid surface materials make up a large percentage of custom kitchen and bathroom countertop installations today. Dupont Corian is, quite literally, a household name. Many other companies are also participating in what has been a rapidly expanding market for high end home products. Most solid surface countertops, bars, shower stalls, etc. are made from a combination of solid surface sheet and molding products which are glued together with a two component acrylic adhesive. The color of the adhesive matches the color of the solid surface materials, allowing fabricators to make the seams invisible. This adhesive is packaged in cartridges in part to allow for the distribution of a large number of colors and because doing so provides a clean and convenient method for assembling and installing solid surface products in customers homes.

Impression Materials:

Dentists use polyvinyl siloxane materials packaged in cartridges to make impressions of teeth in need of repair or replacement. Audiologists have their own impression material formulations for making detailed impressions of ears which must be fitted with hearing aides. These professionals, like many in general industry, have discovered the convenience and time savings possible using cartridges and static mixers to deliver mixed material directly where its needed, without the necessity of an intermediate mixing step and with virtually no clean up required.

In addition to the fairly specialized applications described above, two component cartridges are employed in a wide variety of general industrial, automotive collision repair, and construction applications.

General Industrial Applications:

Structural adhesives have advantages over mechanical fasteners in many circumstances. An adhesive bond line distributes load more evenly and over a larger area than a series of screws or rivets, reducing areas of stress concentration and in many cases improving the quality of the assembly. Adhesives can be used to bond dissimilar materials; a big advantage where dielectric corrosion may be an issue, where base materials do not lend themselves to the use of drilled holes and mechanical fasteners, or where welding may otherwise have been the joining method of choice. Using adhesives instead of mechanical fasteners or welding will also save a significant amount of time in some circumstances.

Automotive Collision Repair:

Two component adhesives and sealants packaged in cartridges have many applications in collision repair. For example:

•  Plastic (SMC, TPO, fiberglass) body panel repair. The urethanes and epoxies used for this purpose adhere well to these relatively slippery surfaces and cure rapidly to allow jobs to be finished quickly, increasing the efficiency of the operation.

•  Seam sealer.

•  Bonding of plastic add-on parts such as spoilers.

•  Glass replacement adhesives and sealants. Using two component technology has made it possible for adhesive manufacturers to market products that reach the required strength more quickly and allow customers to use their vehicles safely in a shorter period of time.

•  Foam for structural reinforcement of body panel cavities and for the reduction of noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH).

•  Structural bonding of replacement body panels, often used in conjunction with welding.


The primary applications for two component adhesives in the construction industry are anchoring in concrete and repairing cracked concrete. Threaded rod anchors set in anchoring adhesive can be placed more closely together and can resist higher tension and shear loads than comparably sized mechanical anchors. Epoxy injected into cracked concrete restores the concrete's ability to handle


There are many reasons for packaging two components and adhesives and sealants in cartridges. Cartridges save time by eliminating the need to handle and weigh the two adhesive components. They can reduce exposure to chemicals that may be hazardous to your customers' health. They can make it easy for your customer to accurately mix and dispense your material, ensuring consistently good results. TAH Industries is a leading supplier of cartridge systems, focused on providing the technical service you need to put the advantages of this convenient packaging system to work for your products.

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