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What is a Sealant?

Posted 06/25/2020 by Johanna Sieber - Product Manager EMEA Engineering Adhesives

Sealants are usually paste-like compounds that are plastically deformable when applied and adhere to both sides of a joint to be sealed. Sealants either retain their plasticity after being introduced into the joint or change to a more or less elastic state through a mostly chemical reaction.

 

The joints between two components are potential weak points in a construction. Sealants are used to fill these joints or gaps in order to visually enhance a construction and/or prevent the passage of substances like water, gas, and dust through the gaps. They make soldering or welting unnecessary in many cases.

 

Today, sealants are used in so many different application fields that it is impossible to imagine life without them. We find sealants in nearly every building,  in insulating glass, cars, buses, trains, commercial vehicles, ships, caravans, and planes. Many industrial and household machines, such as ovens, washing machines, refrigerators, and consumer electronics devices, only work because the right sealants have been used at crucial points. Sealants also can be found in wind turbines, refrigerated containers, and medical equipment.

 

Just as the fields of application are very diverse, so are the functions of modern sealants. Sealants are generally chosen to fill and seal gaps to prevent the passage of media. In addition to this primary function, secondary functions play an important role in many cases; occasionally becoming the main function.

 

Main functions:

  • Filling joints and gaps between two or more substrates
  • Creating a protective barrier to prevent the passage of substances (gases, liquids, solids)
  • Compensation of movement

Secondary functions:

  • Sound and vibration damping
  • Corrosion protection
  • Design
  • Electrical insulation, electrical conductivity   
  • Elastic glue
  • Fire protection
  • Fungicide adjustable

 

 

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