Figure 1. Overview
In the industry, users of adhesion technology often lack knowledge about the integration of the joining process. This is why IFF GmbH, Garching, Germany, aspires to extend custom-specific programs with helpful information about bonding technology quickly and at small expense to adhesives users. One result is the rule-based adhesive-selection system shown in Figure 1.
Figure 2. Information by Embedded Applications
Designed for the Novice
The adhesive-selection system is designed for users without any previous knowledge about the technology of adhesive bonding. This program can help anyone who has to solve problems regarding adhesive bonding -- e.g., finding the suitable adhesive, qualifying the chosen adhesive by practical testing or integrating the adhesive technology into an existing production line.
The advantage of using this software vs. books is the possible interaction between the program and the user. You not only automatically get the special information you asked for, but you also obtain other useful hints regarding your problem, e.g., information about the substrate surface or instructions on curing.
Figure 3. Input-Dialogue (Substrate Conditions)
There are three kinds of information the adhesive-selection system provides:
Your application may already be listed in the program. (See Figure 2.) In this case, you can find additional information about the application with respect to its use in the industry.
General information about adhesive bonding can be found in substantial, tree-structured databases. There are databases where you can learn about adhesives or sealants, plus databases containing information about substrate materials, design of adhesive bondings, application equipment, qualification test methods, different kinds of curing systems and safety concerns.
The input-dialogue, which describes the application by starting with the substrates and some surface conditions, can solve an explicit joining problem. (See Figure 3.)
Figure 4. Input-dialogue (Stress and Geometry)
In addition, the boundary conditions (e.g., mechanical or chemical stress) can be fed into the program to specify the adhesive problem in a more detailed fashion. (See Figure 4.)
Figure 5. Solution-Dialogue
The data in the input-dialogue and more than 400 internal rules enable the adhesive-selection system to find the suitable adhesive for your specific application. The results -- adhesives that meet the demands of the input-dialogue -- are listed in the solution-dialogue. (See Figure 5.)
Figure 6. Addresses of Adhesive Manufacturers
The adhesives listed in the solution-dialogue are not purchasable products but adhesive bases. With this, the timeliness of the found solution is guaranteed. With a corresponding filter, it is then possible to obtain a list of manufacturers for the particular adhesive base. (See Figure 6.)
This software system is capable of giving helpful solution proposals regarding all questions of adhesion technology. The embedded, practice-oriented information results from long-term consulting experience in the field of adhesive bonding. Hence, it is a useful tool for both adhesive users and manufacturers.
Because of the extent of the databases, company-specific, proprietary products can be inserted into the system. It is possible to modify the dialogue for the solution finding and the rules.
The adhesive-selection system is a complete information package for all questions of adhesion technology. It cannot replace the human adhesive expert, but it provides very useful information about adhesives technology and helps avoid serious mistakes.
Additional information about the adhesive-selection system software is available from IFF GmbH, Gutenbergstra¿ 25, 85748 Garching, Germany; call +49 (0) 89 32947960; fax +49 (0) 89 32947969; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Or Circle No. 78.