Dismountable bonded assemblies: a solution for the future supported by IRT Saint Exupéry

The need for products to be recyclable and reusable, in a context of eco-circularity, is now prompting many manufacturers to turn to demountable adhesive bonding. The IRT Saint Exupéry has positioned itself as a key player in bringing together manufacturers, solution providers and academics to focus future activities in response to industrial needs. Here’s a closer look at the IRT Saint Exupéry’s involvement.

Current and future environmental constraints, as well as our social and environmental responsibility, now require us to make particularly innovative R&T efforts, and this applies to bonded assemblies. Although these assemblies have many applications in industry because of their many advantages – multi-material assembly, distribution of mechanical stress, weight reduction. – there is still a major obstacle to be overcome so that this technology meets the challenges of the circular economy.

Adhesive joints must be able to be dismantled:

– in the event of non-conformities in the bonding (for parts with high added value),

– for maintenance, to enable certain parts to be repaired and reassembled,

– to separate materials so that they can be recycled,

– in some cases, to replace screwed assemblies.

Today, there are a some state-of-the-art solutions, but few commercial ones. Against this backdrop, the IRT Saint Exupéry has invested in a number of projects.

Proof of concept of the bonding of a case: before and after “trigger” / activation of demountability

One of the objectives of the IRT Saint Exupéry is to bring together all the players involved in the field of demountable bonding in order to meet industrial needs as effectively as possible. To this end, it has organised a number of events alongside all its potential partners. For example, a theme day was organised at the IRT Saint Exupéry site in Talence, bringing together a large number of players in the field of disassemblable bonding, in order to gather together their needs in terms of disassembly. The day brought together a number of manufacturers from different fields (automotive, space, aeronautics, batteries, etc.) as well as academics and solution providers.

The IRT Saint Exupéry and CNES have joined forces on an ‘Eco-design’ R&T project. During eight months of research and development, the aim will be to use the properties of vitrimer materials, based on the extensive research carried out by the IRT Saint Exupéry on this subject, to develop an bonded assembly with a reversible vitrimer adhesive, whose disassembly temperature is controlled. The solutions developed are designed to meet the needs of the space industry: the repositioning/reuse of bonded assemblies, the replacement of short-life parts (thermal protection, sensors, electronic cards, batteries, etc.), the recovery of high-value-added parts, and the replacement of screwed assemblies with reversible bonded assemblies. The technical approaches will focus on custom formulation and characterisation of vitrimers to suit assembly (removal) and disassembly processes.

« A number of projects are currently underway on the industrial future of removable bonded assemblies. The IRT Saint Exupéry is mobilising its multi-skills, supported by its network of partners, to come up with industrial solutions that meet environmental challenges’ concludes Sara KIRCHNER, project manager for surfaces and assemblies at the IRT Saint Exupéry ».

Dismountable bonded assemblies: a solution for the future supported by IRT Saint Exupéry
Scroll to top