XlynX Materials has created a new class of adhesives they are calling “molecular glues”. These make it possible to permanently adhere difficult-to-bond polymers such as polyethylene and polypropylene to themselves, and to other materials, through exceptionally strong chemical bonds.
Conventional adhesives typically take advantage of mechanical forces to hold materials together. BondLynx employs bis-diazirine chemistry to create covalent chemical bonds between polymer chains, permanently crosslinking them together through strong carbon–carbon bonds.
This is the same type of joinery found between carbon atoms in the polymer chains themselves. Once BondLynx has been applied to a polymer, the crosslinking process can be initiated by heat, ultraviolet (UV)/visible light, or an electric field depending on the specific demands of the manufacturing process.
How cross linker works
“What’s really amazing about BondLynx is that it can “glue” virtually any plastic to any other plastic. BondLynx acts by inserting itself into the carbon–hydrogen bonds that are present in almost every commodity polymer. The potential applications are limitless,”stated Jeremy Wulff, Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Victoria.
BondLynx has successfully undergone adhesive testing on a wide range of polymers, and polymer–metal combinations. Remarkably, even elastomers and damp surfaces can be bonded with BondLynx, opening broad opportunities for novel medical and dental applications.
In addition to being used directly as polymeric adhesives, BondLynx molecular-glues can be applied to polymer textiles to link and strengthen the fibres. It has proven effective in strengthening ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fabrics for ballistics protective equipment and wind sport applications.
“As a leading manufacturer of body armour products, PRE Labs had a privilege to test and use ultra-high performance fabrics crosslinked with BondLynx. Our evaluations to date have confirmed that these new generation cross linking agents can significantly enhance the tear and perforation resistance along with mechanical properties of high-performance fabrics,” stated Brad Field, CEO, PRE Labs.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, McGill University, and industry labs have already begun testing.
Samples of BondLynx for testing and research purposes are now available from XlynX Materials. Please send your request to [email protected]
For a deeper look at the science behind this new technology, see: “A broadly applicable cross-linker for aliphatic polymers containing C–H bonds” in Science and “Flexible polyfluorinated bis-diazirines as molecular adhesives” in Chemical Science.