Online Exclusive: Garage Glamour

September 1, 2005
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Distinctive garage doors have lasting beauty thanks to advanced methacrylate adhesive

Specialty “coach-house” doors add a touch of elegance to any home. They are functional as well as beautiful, and many designs incorporate a polystyrene core for insulation. These doors are bonded with Plastic Welder II, an advanced methacrylate adhesive.
For discerning homeowners and builders who can afford the best, a mass-produced, stamped-metal garage door just won't do. The lair of a Jaguar (the four-wheeled species) requires a more distinctive design.

A leading supplier of custom-made, high-end garage doors based in Orange, CA, specializes in building "coach-house" doors with elegant designs dating from the 1920s, combining distinction with durability. Many have windows across the top in pleasing shapes and patterns. Depending on the customer's desire, the facing can be copper, brushed aluminum, coated steel, composite or a wood, such as oak, alder, or cedar. Some doors have a polystyrene core for insulation. For reliable, quiet, rust-free operation, only the best hardware is used. Although these doors are typically extra wide, they can be built to any dimensions. They are sold through independent professional installers across the United States.<

Depending on the customer’s wishes, the facing of a “coach-house” door can be copper, brushed aluminum, coated steel, composite or wood. Plastic Welder II adhesive bonds composites, wood and metal, as well as various plastics. It holds up to temperature extremes and, by eliminating the need for welding or fasteners, gives panels a more attractive appearance
The general manager of the garage door company takes pride in his employees' attention to detail as they assemble each door individually. They use only the finest materials, including Devcon Plastic Welder™ II, the high-performance adhesive that holds the doors together.

"It took us a while to find it," he recalls. "We tested about a dozen less-expensive glues first. They couldn't handle repeated exposure to heat or cold. We needed something better."

It was then that Tom Post, Devcon regional manager, made a fortuitous cold call, asking a man in the company's parking lot whom he could talk to about adhesives. The man turned out to be the manager, and the adhesive-testing period was under way. After a brief tour of the shop, Post left a sample of Plastic Welder II with the manager, who shortly thereafter was ordering 50-ml cartridges of the two-part methacrylate every week.

"We now build all our coach-house doors with Plastic Welder II," says the manager. "It's easy to apply, it sets up quickly but not too quickly, and it holds up under temperature extremes. We use it for attaching panels to the frame and to other panels, and for constructing the panels themselves. A panel can have several layers, and Plastic Welder II works equally well for bonding composite materials to each other, steel to steel, or even wood to composite to steel to plastic to steel again - from the outer skin to the inner skin and everything in between.

A California company builds garage doors in many distinctive designs and sells them through independent professional installers across the United States. They are bonded with Plastic Welder II, an advanced methacrylate adhesive.
"Think about it," he continues. "A garage door has to withstand a lot of stress. Its panels not only separate and come together with every opening and closing, but also expand and contract according to daily sunshine and shadow and seasonal temperature extremes. Humidity is also a factor. Our doors end up everywhere, so we can't just build for one climate. A good door has to hold up, and it has to keep looking good, too; we have a reputation for lasting strength and beauty to uphold. A good door does not delaminate, whether it's on top of a mountain or in the middle of a desert. Let's face it, we don't have time for callbacks, returns and unhappy customers because we tried to save a couple of dollars on glue; that would be like flying in a cheap airplane."

Ideal for outdoor applications, Plastic Welder II is particularly resistant to weathering and UV light. In addition to standard plastics, it bonds nylon, nylon-containing alloys, modified polyesters, epoxy composites, metals, fiberglass and wood. Available in several colors and packaging choices for a range of OEM assembly applications, the adhesive requires little or no surface preparation (no sanding or grinding of composites). With a mixed viscosity of 56,000 cps, it will not run or drip when used on vertical or inverted surfaces. Working time is 5-10 minutes. Because it is 100% reactive, VOC emissions are very low. Plastic Welder II attains functional cure in 2-4 hours. Its load-bearing bonds are resistant to wide variations in temperature (-40° to 250° F). It has high tensile and shear strength, and superior impact and peel resistance.

Devcon Plastic Welder II structural methacrylate adhesive distributes stresses across the entire bond line instead of concentrating them at rivets or screws. This prevents the loosening or leaking that can occur when fastener holes expand due to vibration, flexing and temperature cycling.
Where clean lines and surfaces are desired, Plastic Welder II provides a viable alternative to welding, which can cause sheet metal to dimple or pucker. The adhesive also offers advantages over mechanical fasteners. It eliminates the time and labor required to drill or punch holes when using screws or rivets, and by eliminating the fasteners themselves it allows for a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. And because it distributes stresses across a much greater area (the entire length of the bond line) instead of concentrating them at rivets or screws, Plastic Welder II not only produces a stronger bond, but also prevents the loosening and leaking that can occur when fastener holes expand due to vibration, flexing, or temperature cycling. To maximize the adhesive's durability on aluminum or stainless steel, Devcon recommends the use of a primer (Devcon Metal Prep 90).

Pleased with the results he had obtained with handheld dispensers and cartridges of Plastic Welder II, the garage door company manager began buying the adhesive in bulk - two 55-gal drums (resin and activator) at a time - and dispensing it with a portable meter-mix system.

"The bulk kits are more cost-effective," he explains. "Devcon has been helpful and supportive, but I chose Plastic Welder II strictly because of its superior performance. It's a matter of quality. For an ordinary garage door, an ordinary adhesive will do. But we produce extraordinary doors, so we use an extraordinary adhesive."

Many elegant “coach-house” door designs date from the 1920s. The doors are assembled with Plastic Welder II adhesive for long life in any climate.
For more information on Devcon adhesives, contact David Bongiorni, Market Development Manager, 30 Endicott St., Danvers, MA 01923; phone (800) 933-8266 or (978) 777-1100; fax (978) 774-0516; or visit http://www.devcon.com.

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