Sealant Manufacturers produce adhesives and sealants used in a wide range of industrial applications. Sealants are typically applied to substrates in order to fill gaps and form a bond. They are often chosen to perform distinctive functions that set them apart from adhesives. These functions may include a sealing function, the ability to resist relative movement of the substrates to which they are applied, and the capability to exclude or contain another material. Many types of materials and formulations are available for the preparation of a suitable sealant. Typical sealants are relatively low in strength, but they have the advantage of providing flexibility that adhesives cannot offer.
While many different materials are suitable for preparing a sealant, most manufacturers of sealants have compromise formulations that can be used in a number of different applications. The choice of a specific material depends on the specific application, the type of substrate and any environmental requirements that need to be met.
Most modern sealants are composed of a polymer for flexibility together with a filler product for bulk. The resulting pliable compound allows gaps to be bridged and may have sufficient strength to resist some degree of movement without loosening from the substrates. These properties allow them to serve as an effective substitute for soldering or welding.
The selection of a particular type of sealant is determined by the substrates to which it will be applied, the joint design, performance expectations and production costs. For example, the choice of a sealant in a building is influenced by the need to meet fire-resistance standards. This requires the sealant to be capable of performing an insulating function as well as resisting abrasion and chemicals.
Similarly, the use of sealants in a manufacturing plant is influenced by environmental concerns. For example, the sealant might need to be compatible with a food or pharmaceutical processing environment and must not outgas or liberate chemical components during or after cure. It might also need to be able to withstand moisture or abrasion or provide certain thermal or acoustical insulation.
While there are a number of major sealant and adhesive producers, smaller companies may specialize in niche products or offer a range of different products to cater to industry needs. Click Bond, for instance, makes specialty fasteners and acoustic sealing solutions at its Carson City, Nevada, facility, while Franklin International uses its 100 facilities to make wood furniture adhesives.
Most sealant manufacturers distribute their products both locally and internationally. Some may offer a variety of packaging options. A common packaging option is the cartridge system, in which the base and accelerator are mixed prior to use using a device like a hand-held gun that dispenses the material through a nozzle. Alternatively, sealants can be applied using a spatula or other tool. A variety of accessories, such as bond breakers and backing materials, can be supplied for the proper use of a sealant. They can help prevent three face adhesion and improve the quality of the final product.