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UV-Cured Acrylic Adhesive’s Role in Extending the Construction Season and Improving Building Envelope Performance

by | Oct 2, 2022 | Engineered Solutions

When installing building envelope products like flashing, underlayments and water-resistive barriers (WRBs), adhesive choice is a critical decision that can extend the length of the construction season for contractors and builders, especially in extreme climates.

Compared to other adhesives such as rubberized asphalt and synthetic rubbers, UV-cured acrylic adhesives perform across a wider temperature range — from 0 F (-18 C) to over 240 F (115 C). As a result, construction can proceed uninterrupted as compared to other adhesive types that can cause delays due to materials that can’t be installed at high and low temperatures. UV-cured acrylic adhesives remain workable in frigid cold and soaring heat by providing high levels of adhesive anchorage due to exceptional flow and surface penetration properties.

Moreover, UV-cured acrylics achieve superior adhesion without the need for primers, which helps contractors and builders save time and installation costs during building envelope construction. This type of acrylic does not contain solvents or volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making it more environmentally friendly and broadly compatible with other materials used in the building envelope. The latter is important to installers because it removes the risk of sealant degradation, debonding and reactions with material surfaces that can occur when incompatible building envelope materials are in contact with each other. In addition, the adhesive remains pliable unlike rubberized asphalt adhesives that can become embrittled after the VOCs off-gas. Thus, an adhesive with higher compatibility can also help reduce the potential for product installation missteps.

Building Envelope Durability

A temperature rating that extends the construction season is just one of the benefits of building envelope products made with UV-cured acrylic adhesives. This adhesive type can also withstand climatic changes over the long-term: It continues to perform and maintain its adhesion with minimal material shift throughout hot and cold seasonal temperature cycles over a building’s lifespan.
Over time components within the building envelope gradually move, so adhesives used on materials in the building envelope must be able to tolerate these stresses to deliver durable, long-lasting performance. Repeated exposure to fluctuating weather conditions, such as high wind and rain events, wide temperature variation, and heavy snowfall, can cause rubberized asphalt and synthetic rubber adhesives, to break down and/or fail. This breakdown degrades the performance of the building envelope and its ability to protect a building from air leaks, moisture penetration and structural damage.

UV-cured acrylic adhesives, in comparison, have high peel adhesion and cohesive strength that contribute to stronger bonds and higher performance over time. The highly crosslinked polymer chains increase the ability of the adhesive to resist the shear forces of slowly moving materials within walls and roofs. Their pliability allows them to continuously adapt to temperature changes and naturally occurring movement while maintaining position with minimal shifting. UV-cured acrylic adhesives also help to preserve the aesthetic of a building’s exterior by keeping materials in place.

For example, self-adhering flashing (SAF) — also known as self-adhering sheet membrane (SASM) or self-adhering membrane (SAM) — is commonly used around windows, doors, skylights and other wall penetrations to protect the building from air and moisture infiltration. This protection is critical over the life of the building, as it directly impacts both the building’s energy efficiency and the comfort of the building’s occupants. UV-cured acrylic adhesives enable SAF to contribute to energy efficiency and building durability by creating strong permanent bonds to other building materials being used in the assembly. This is especially critical around windows and doors that are subject to routine use and movement that can cause added strain on adhesive bonds.

Performing under extreme temperatures is one hallmark of a high-quality adhesive for building envelope products. The adhesive must also demonstrate long-term durability and the ability to resist delaminating, debonding and failure when the bond is tested by temperature and seasonal fluctuations associated with the location and use of the building. UV-cured acrylic adhesives perform to all of these performance requirements and using them helps building envelope product manufacturers enhance the overall performance of their products while offering their customers the added benefit of a longer construction season.

Choosing an Adhesive Partner

When selecting a private label manufacturer, it’s important to choose one who will work with you to design the best solution for products that meet the demands of how and where your customers will use them. For optimal results, choose a partner who will focus on your specific design requirements and performance expectations.

Your manufacturer should consider everything from the climate of the geographic areas where your products are used to the types of construction for which your products will be specified. Other important considerations, such as performance specifications and the building materials that will be used in combination with the adhesive, should also factor into your decision.

Lastly, an experienced private label manufacturing partner will assess the building envelope materials you are currently using for potential improvements. All of these considerations will help you and your partner develop high performance building envelope solutions that benefit you and your customers.

Interested in learning more? Find out about all of the benefits of UV-cured acrylic adhesives for building envelopes.

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