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The engineers at optical instrument maker Gooch & Housego use a high-specification UV cure adhesive in a military application. The adhesive is premixed with microspheres to ensure bondline thickness. However, the company recently experienced problems in getting a homogenous dispersion of microspheres in the mix — which could lead to poor fitment of the optical element and subsequent removal, cleaning and re-working. As a result Flynn Barrett, in charge of the assembly process, turned to David Peat at Intertronics, who was able to demonstrate a bench-top Thinky ARE250 mixer.

Gooch & Housego

Flynn said: ‘We had been working with a very difficult and long-winded manual mix and centrifuge vacuum process, which meant preparing a stock of premixed adhesive. Any batch with a non-optimal mix gave inconsistent results, a consequent high level of material wastage and lost labour time. The Thinky was really impressive; we are now able to mix smaller batches of adhesive using a very simple pre-programmed cycle.’

Any process person at Gooch & Housego can now mix the adhesive by following a simple documented process with the Thinky mixer and its intuitive controls.

Key benefits of product application

  • Peat said: ‘The Thinky mixer performs very well in this type of application — it is a non-contact planetary mixer that mixes, dispenses and degasses in one process. The mixing result is consistent and reliable, so the customer can mix as much material as they want, when they want it, with improved quality outcomes and significantly reduced re-work costs.’
  • The Thinky ARE250 has also programmed to mix a two-part sealant for a polariser prism assembly fitted inside aluminium housing. This sealant was previously mixed by hand, but again presented process challenges. Both parts of the sealant are the same colour, making it difficult to see if the mix was complete, resulting in occasional uneven or uncured parts. Mixing in the Thinky in a closed cup has alleviated some of the health and safety issues around handling the material.
  • The two-part sealant is quite reactive when mixed, so the process is completed in a cooling adaptor in the Thinky, helping to preclude premature cure from heat build-up. It helps that mixing in the Thinky is usually faster than by hand. A reliable, complete mix of the sealant provides both productivity and quality enhancements.

Intertronics

INTERTRONICS supplies a comprehensive range of bonding and protective materials – together with the associated consumables and equipment – to customers in high technology, high performance assembly industries – including electronics, medical device, plastics, optical, automotive, energy, defence and aerospace.

INTERTRONICS supplies a comprehensive range of bonding and protective materials – together with the associated consumables and equipment – to customers in high technology, high performance assembly industries – including electronics, medical device, plastics, optical, automotive, energy, defence and aerospace. The company supplies over 3,000 regular customers, including multinational manufacturing giants, production facilities, specialist design and development businesses, universities, training organisations and government establishments.

adhere is INTERTRONICS’ brand which encompasses its bonding, coating, sealing, encapsulating, potting, masking and gasketing materials, together with the most appropriate equipment and accessories for dispensing and curing them.

Because adhere brings together this proven range of integrated products from selected and trusted partners, INTERTRONICS’ customers have the confidence that everything will work together efficiently and cost-effectively, underpinned by the company’s experience and expert advice.

This advice is an essential element of the programme, and it ensures that customers benefit from the optimal material and process choice for the manufacture, assembly or repair of their products … safeguarding and enhancing performance and integrity and in turn, profitability and reputation.

Also key to customer success and satisfaction are the provision of process implementation and training, ongoing expert technical support and the assurance of highly competent supply chain management.

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