Another great session at ACS-A yesterday where the main point of the meeting was to discuss adhesives, BCA manual, testing requirements and general discussion.
What came out of this meeting was a whole lot more than this; really the attitude of the team changed from this session which I will explain in this blog.
Adhesion was a decision between silicon adhesive and epoxy adhesive. As long as they had sheer strength of more than 3MPa (not high as there is so much surface bonding area) and can withstand more than 220deg of heat. However, silicon has some inherent properties being that it is slower to cure (not good for efficient production) and needs humidity (water) to cure, in some situations the cure is hard to predict and becomes something we are not willing to gamble on.
So the decision was made to search for a suitable epoxy adhesive with cure time of 30mins, thermal resistance of 220deg. Most other properties are already within epoxy such as water proof, strong etc.
The other factor which pushed us towards epoxy was the way that we need to bond the components together. In our construction industry we are used to 'banging' nails into timber, or a couple of screws or clouts and perhaps for the better trades add some 'liquid nails'. I had the same attitude in this meeting and was suggesting some quick ways to adhere our parts together.
The guys from ACS-A are ultimate professionals and serious engineers. Their attitude towards bonding our system together was nothing short of what NASA or Boeing or similar would look at their equipment. In a 30min conversation my attitude was changed with this project in not that we were just designing and producing a product that will be great in principal and needs to be put together quick so we can start the next one, but a real respect and understanding in the importance of structural bonding.
If we are to spend so much effort in designing cutting-edge structural member and hi-tech wall / floor systems; whats the point if we are only going to put minimal effort into the bonding. So - treat these houses as though they are space rockets sending humans to outer space... bring some pride into what we are achieving and do it properly... do it like the Germans would do (our head engineer is German - I suppose this is where a lot of this precision is coming from).
So this was a very positive injection of attitude with precision and doing something special on many levels.
So the bonding issue is already resolved as we spoke about the best way of doing this being a basic preparation of both connecting surfaces - so the task is not hard, its more the attitude and importance of doing it properly and well was the main thing gained out of this. Ultimately it simply just means that these structures are going to be very strong.