XlynX Materials recently announced the creation of a new class of adhesives the company is calling molecular glues. According to XlynX, these adhesives make it possible to permanently adhere difficult-to-bond polymers such as polyethylene and polypropylene to themselves and to other materials through strong chemical bonds.

Conventional adhesives typically take advantage of mechanical forces to hold materials together. In contrast, BondLynx© employs bis-diazirine chemistry to create covalent chemical bonds between polymer chains, permanently crosslinking them together through strong carbon-carbon bonds. This is the same type of joinery found between carbon atoms in the polymer chains themselves. The company reports that once BondLynx has been applied to a polymer, the crosslinking process can be initiated by heat, ultraviolet (UV)/visible light, or an electric field, depending on the specific demands of the manufacturing process.

“What’s really amazing about BondLynx is that it can ‘glue’ virtually any plastic to any other plastic,” said Jeremy Wulff, Ph.D., professor of organic chemistry at the University of Victoria. “BondLynx acts by inserting itself into the carbon-hydrogen bonds that are present in almost every commodity polymer. The potential applications are limitless.”

BondLynx has successfully undergone adhesive testing on a wide range of polymers and polymer-metal combinations. According to XlynX, elastomers and damp surfaces can be bonded with the product, opening broad opportunities for novel medical and dental applications.

In addition to being used directly as a polymeric adhesive, BondLynx can be applied to polymer textiles to link and strengthen the fibers. It has reportedly proven effective in strengthening ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fabrics for ballistics protective equipment and wind sport applications.

“As a leading manufacturer of body armour products, PRE Labs had a privilege to test and use ultra-high performance fabrics crosslinked with BondLynx,” said Brad Field, CEO of PRE Labs. “Our evaluations to date have confirmed that these new generation cross linking agents can significantly enhance the tear and perforation resistance along with mechanical properties of high-performance fabrics.”

Details are available at www.xlynxmaterials.com.