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Super Glue Dispensing 101

Nine Ways to Improve Your Cyanoacrylate Dispensing Process for Higher Production Throughput

20 March 2019

By Claude Bergeron

Cyanoacrylates (also known as super glues, cyanos, or CAs) are moisture-cure adhesives with high bond strength and fast cure times. While helpful for increasing throughput, cyanoacrylates present unique dispensing challenges for your assembly process.

Even the smallest amount of humidity in ambient air can start the curing process. Therefore, avoiding moisture is key to successful dispensing. Also, the best CA bond comes when the smallest amount of material is applied, so it is important to have precise control of your deposit size.

To help you navigate these challenges, Nordson EFD created the video: 9 Tips for Trouble-Free Cyanoacrylate Dispensing. It outlines how to select the right cyanoacrylate dispensing equipment, in addition to helpful process adjustments for the best possible results.

  1. Choose the Right Fluid-Carrying Parts
  2. Avoid non-passivated metal and nylon when choosing fluid-carrying parts such as fluid feed tubing, valve fittings, and components such as syringe barrels and dispensing tips. Metal and nylon materials will react with your CA, causing it to cure. This can lead to clogging and equipment failure.

  3. Choose the Right Dispense Tip
  4. Nordson EFD’s Optimum PTFE-lined tips are designed to dispense low-viscosity cyanos. They feature a special lining that prevents curing and clogging inside the metal cannula and a crimp that slows material flow for better control of fluid deposits.

    Our SmoothFlow tapered tips work best with thicker gel CAs due to their higher flow rate. Because they are molded from either polypropylene or polyethylene, they do not react with cyanoacrylates or cause premature curing.

  5. Choose the Right Piston
  6. EFD’s blue LV Barrier piston is designed to prevent curing of watery super glues. It sits above the fluid in the syringe barrel to prevent the piston from bonding to the syringe. Watch this video to learn how to properly set up a blue piston for optimal cyano dispensing.

    Consider our general purpose white SmoothFlow piston for gel CAs that require higher dispense pressures. Our white and blue pistons are molded from high-density polyethylene. 

  7. Block Moisture Upstream
  8. Install a five-micron filter regulator with coalescing filter at your plant air supply. This blocks moisture from contacting your super glue and prevents curing.

  9. Choose the Right Fluid Dispenser
  10. With its 0-15 psi (0-1 bar) constant-bleed pressure regulator, EFD’s Ultimus II dispenser offers the best control for thin super glues. You can fine-tune time and pressure adjustments to dispense the right amount. And you can easily control the vacuum to prevent dripping and drooling.

  11. Use A Filter Trap
  12. Vacuum is great to prevent dripping, but be careful about suck back. Consider using a syringe barrel adapter assembly with a filter trap to prevent fluid from being sucked back into the dispenser. Suck back can occur if the vacuum is set too high or an operator inadvertently lays the syringe barrel on its side. Using a filter trap can prevent your CA from curing inside the dispenser.

  13. Choose the Right Valve for High-Volume Applications
  14. Look for valves with wetted parts made from ultra-high molecular weight (UHMW) polyethylene, such as EFD’s 752V diaphragm valve. This feature stops CAs from curing inside your valve and will give you millions of trouble-free dispensing cycles.

    EFD’s radial spinner valve can also dispense precise, repeatable amounts of cyanos due to its inert wetted parts. It provides the best control for dispensing inside cylindrical parts. Find out how one fiberglass profile manufacturer reduced rework and rejects, while hitting its daily quota faster with the radial spinner valve.

  15. Consider Jetting Trade-offs
  16. Jetting or non-contact dispensing can significantly increase throughput yields in any assembly process. It eliminates the need for Z-axis movement, achieving high-speed dispensing while maintaining significantly more accurate deposits. The main trade-offs for cyano dispensing are the process adjustments required. Our pneumatic Liquidyn P-Jet jet valve must be set up to dispense continuously to prevent CAs from curing inside the valve. The benefit is the fact that it can jet micro-deposits as small as 3 nL at up to 280Hz (cycles per second).

  17. Lastly, Know When to Automate
  18. When your production volume increases or your application requires exceptional deposit placement repeatability, you'll know it is time to automate. Nordson EFD’s vision-guided automated dispensing systems are the easiest to setup and program thanks to proprietary DispenseMotion™ software, which also allows the use marks and fiducials to automatically offset the dispense program to compensate for slight shifts in part orientation or location.

Now, let's recap. When it comes to dispensing CAs, Nordson EFD has the right solution for nearly every application. Get improved repeatability and better control to help reduce costly fluid waste and rework, while boosting throughput yields.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with an experienced fluid application specialist, don't hesitate to request expert help today.

About Claude Bergeron

Claude Bergeron is the Global Product Line Manager of Dispense Valves at Nordson EFD. He uses his extensive application and product knowledge to lead the development of some of the most innovative dispensing valves on the market. Claude has more than 35 years of fluid dispensing experience. He joined Nordson EFD in 1981.

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