3M Structural Adhesvies


The world of structural adhesives can be a slightly confusing one. Questions like, which one do I need? what is the cure time? and so on. With 3M structural adhesives many of the clues are in the name of the product.

Lets break the 3M DP8010NS structural adhesive.



Duo-Pak: This means the product is a 2 part adhesive that contains both the adhesive and the catalyst in two separate chambers.


This is simply 3M's product number. This has no property value but identifies the product.


This number indicates the cure time of the product. So '10' equals a 10-12 minute cure time.


This stands for Non-Sag, this means that the adhesive will not drip or migrate whilst it is applied. Ideal for applications where the adhesive is mounted vertically. Products with the NS suffix are not Non-Sag.

Why use a structural adhesive?

Structural adhesives are chosen for a multitude of assembly operations. Unlike mechanical fastening methods, they don’t damage substrates (i.e. no need to drill holes; no heat distortion as when welding metal); they can join dissimilar materials without galvanic corrosion; are amenable to a number of different geometries; don’t concentrate stress at a few localized spots (thus increasing fatigue resistance); and don’t require refinishing steps or leave protrusions (aesthetically more pleasing). Structural adhesives also play an important role in the move to composite materials, which allow for significant weight reduction with comparable stiffness, compared to metals. Composites are generally not amenable to solvent welding, and drilling can damage parts; accordingly, structural adhesives are an excellent joining technology for these materials.

Compared to other types of adhesives, structural adhesives have the highest load bearing capability; excellent environmental and chemical resistance; are generally formulated to be 100% solids (no solvent emissions to deal with); and come in a range of cure times and properties. Structural adhesives cure in an irreversible process which helps provide excellent temperature and solvent resistance. They do not need access to air to dry; nor moisture (like one-part silicone and polyurethane sealants); and thus have unlimited depth of cure.

What Cure time do I need?

The answer to this question depends on your application. Longer cure times are suited to large jobs, for example if you are working on a large sheet of metal and start in the top right corner, you do not want this to of cured by the time you have got to the bottom corner as you will not be able to stick the two substrates together.

A short cure time is suited to smaller jobs like small sign fitting jobs, or small panel repair where you need to adhere two small sustrates together quickly. 

Do i need a Non-Sag adhesive?

Again this comes down to application. We usually recommend Non-Sag adhesives for applications where the adhesive needs to be applied to a vertical subrstate. The last thing you want is to have the adhesive running down the substrate after you have applied it. Adhesives that are not Non-Sag are suited to applications where the substrate is lying flat and will be held in place by clamps for example.