Complications of Laminating to Metals

Complications can arise when using adhesives with laminated coil bond applications that apply laminates to flat rolled metal substrates or coils. Manufacturers utilizing flat rolled aluminum, steel or other metals to fabricate various products often apply an attractive finish to give their products or parts a competitive edge. These decorative finishes may include the look of wood grains, brushed copper or stainless steel or provide various levels of gloss and colors. Laminate films also provided functional purpose of chemical or scratch resistance.

The process of laminating to metals, however, can be fraught with many complications. There are many different ways of adhering laminates to coil sheets or rolls. Manufacturers that perform this process in-house can employ personnel to brush or spray adhesives onto their products.  This can lead to inconsistencies and frequently causes high scrap rates. This type of manual application also requires the manufacturer to adhere to strict regulations for worker and environmental safety.

Coil coating companies utilizing automated equipment can perform laminated coil bonding processes much faster, although quality issues may still arise due to temperature variations in the curing process. In some cases the scrap rate for either method can be as high as 20%. Manufacturers can overcome these problems by consulting with a custom adhesives formulator that has experience in the coil coating process.


Complications That Arise with OEMs and Laminated Coil Bond Application

OEMs attempting their lamination process in-house can often run into problems such as wrinkling or delamination. This can occur if the wrong adhesive chemistry is used or if the curing process is not tightly controlled. These complications can lead to a high internal scrap rate and even returned goods, eating into job profitability and ruining a customer’s good reputation.

Even experienced coil coating companies may encounter problems with lamination bonding to metal substrates. OEMs may experience issues with products pre-applied with B-stage adhesive if curing temperatures are not tightly controlled. When OEMs or coil coating companies experience complications when laminating to metal substrates, they should turn to a custom adhesive formulator like Universal Chemicals & Coatings, UNICHEM.

UNICHEM works directly with coil coating companies and OEMs, providing solutions which improve product and process quality with improved cycle times and significant scrap reduction.

UNICHEM offers more than 50 years of experience in delivering custom, high performance coatings for use in a diverse range of industries. Our team includes resin scientists with a deep technical knowledge of polymer chemistry, adhesive and process technology.  Contact us for innovative insight and solutions to solve complications when laminating to metal.