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Redesigned Bonded Fasteners Enable RTM Railway Cabinets
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Adhesion Technologies Ltd. has developed a range of in-mold bonded fasteners, which reduce build time by eliminating the need for hole-drilling. Designed by composite engineers in conjunction with Southampton University and the UK government-funded Farnborough Aerospace Consortium, ATL’s patented products comprise more than 2,000 variants, including manganese-boron alloy, 316L stainless steel and thermoplastics, which boosts torsional strength by 24%. Trademarked Spida Fixings, these fasteners have been designed to dissipate stress in composite structures, can be epoxy-coated to reduce risk of galvanic corrosion and are used in composite structures made via vacuum

Recently, ATL was approached by an industrial composites manufacturer in the UK that developed a composite solution for railway trackside control cabinets. Although these electronics enclosures are traditionally metal, they are now benefitting from composites’ improved resistance to corrosion, vibration and vandalism/theft. The cabinet brought to ATL weighs 1,000 kg. Unfortunately, the fasteners for the eyebolts were separating at the interface between the nut and the base.

ATL worked with the manufacturer to redesign the fasteners, switching the previously perforated standoff with an ATL 12-mm 316L Spida Standoff. The Spida Standoff also features a 54% increase in surface bond. ATL is now receiving more requests for technical advice and integration of their fixing solutions into similar composite products.

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