Since time immemorial, humankind has found ways to join one material to another. From mud and dirt, to wooden pins, from steel joiners to super glues, there’s been various ways of holding things together.
Cars, in particular, have used screws, bolts, welding, and glues to hold together body parts and panels, but there are times when something different is required due to the kinds of sizes and materials being used in the construction.
Enter Spida Fixings.
The company manufactures a range of possibly unique components to help with bonding materials that can’t be welded or joined in the tradition sense. They can be used to join: carbon fibre and other forms of composites, woods, plastics, metals, and even concrete. They’re classified as a bonded fastener which reduces or eliminates the requirement for welding or drilling. This minimises local area stress and a need for touch ups such as painting.
Part of the ability of the Spida Fixing to do what it does is thanks to the design of the main units. Think of a cog, to start with. The teeth are laid flat against a surface, which forces a self levelling mechanism and maximises the volume of adhesive plus increases torsional grip. Inside the cog is a hemispherical, concave, “exothermic chamber” that is filled with a two part adhesive such as Araldite or Loctite. A caveat here is that the proper industrial strength versions are very much preferred.The chamber is critical as it provides more volume and surface area for the bonding agents to work, and thereby maximise the effectiveness. Traditional flat style designs result in a squeezing out of the bonding agents, which then reduces the effective useful volume.The cogs are the parts that will spread the weight bearing load evenly to the surface to be bonded, and can exceed the ISO (International Standards Organisation) ratings for the method of adhesion. The teeth also take load from the male or female connection and spreads that into the base. Due to the ability of the components to bear more load, it means less weight due to less fasteners being used.
The actual design of the modules allow for a wide variation of fasteners to suit different applications and locations. Small fasteners for tight fits, bigger for broad panels and household uses, and all designed to provide the optimum bonding experience. Threaded fasteners add to the flexibility in joining panels, for example.
The fasteners come in two grades. There is high tensile carbon steel and marine grade stainless steel. The design of the fasteners, especially with the marine grade steel, allows them to be integrated into a moulding such as carbon-fibre or fibreglass. This method makes for a super strong bonding of shapes such as boat hulls, with recently developed fasteners for yachts of America’s Cup level.
Naturally this sort of fastener design and the concept is ideal for the automotive field too. Consider vehicles that have composite bodies and have a need, as a result, for high strength joins with minimal weight additions.
Overall, testing has proven conclusively the strength of the fasteners in regards to shear and pulled tension. One particular test saw a force of 23kN (kiloNewtons) being applied before failure!
Australian Parts and Equipment is the Australian distributor for these fascinating and intriguing fasteners and connectors. Contact Wal Mansell via firstname.lastname@example.org.