Adhesives supplier Intertronics has added the Dymax Low Shrink™ OP-81-LS UV adhesive, which offers very low volumetric shrinkage, to its product range. Designed for optical assembly applications that require precise alignment, the material cures in seconds on exposure to UV/visible light. It is single-part, solvent free and can bond dissimilar substrates — it is recommended for materials including polycarbonate, glass, acrylic and metal.
OP-81-LS has very low volumetric shrinkage during cure. Its epoxy chemistry enables a low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) and high glass transition temperature (Tg) for stability through thermal cycling, and low outgassing, meeting ASTM E595 outgassing requirements. It features a low temperature (80⁰C - 85⁰C) heat-curing function that can be used as the sole cure mechanism where heat cure is preferred or as secondary method in applications where shadow areas exist. Its properties make it well suited for optical positioning, active alignment, and bonding lenses, prisms, windows fibres and other optical components.
“To some extent, all adhesives shrink during curing,” explained Andrew Gibson, sales executive at Intertronics. “This can cause stress on the parts and lead to focussing and alignment issues during processing. Standard epoxy adhesives can have a shrinkage of around 3% to 5%, so many manufacturers are turning to specially formulated adhesives. This new material offers very low linear shrinkage on the order of 0.01%, which means there is low to no movement during cure.”
“UV light curing materials are helping optical engineers to meet the productivity and performance requirements of today’s manufacturing environments,” added Gibson. “Two part optical epoxies, for example, take minutes to days to cure where UV curing materials take just seconds. Cure takes place on demand, which is beneficial during alignment and focussing as the engineer has time to ensure positioning is correct before cure is initiated. Fast, on demand curing reduces work in progress and frees jigs and fixtures for the next assembly.”
Dymax OP-81-LS is fully curable in seconds with broad spectrum or LED UV curing lamps. The new material complements Intertronics’ existing range of products for optical applications, which includes adhesives and synergistic precison application, dispensing and curing equipment.
Having joined the magazine in 2012, Claire developed her knowledge of the industry through the numerous company visits, exhibitions and conferences she attended both in the UK and abroad.
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