Minimizing Wear in Adhesive/Sealant Applicators Via Design of Experiments 982365
The large variety of adhesive and sealant formulations required to meet the bonding needs of the automotive industry has necessitated the use of many different resins and fillers. Since these additives dominate the wear characteristics exhibited by the adhesives and sealants, they will affect the operation of the application equipment. In previous work, we developed tests to quantify the abrasivity of an adhesive. In this work, we use one of these tests, a flowbench method, to determine the effect that application process conditions have on adhesive abrasivity in an attempt to minimize the wear incurred by application equipment in a production environment. A statistical design of experiments methodology was employed using the inlet flow pressure, initial nozzle orifice diameter, and adhesive temperature as the control variables and the change in the nozzle orifice area as a measure of equipment wear. A Box-Behnken design, which entails 15 experimental runs with the 3 variables, was used to obtain a response surface. The experimental results exhibited a large variation in wear over a relatively narrow range of processing conditions. Analysis of the results reveal varying levels of influence on nozzle wear for the different process variables, both individually and through interactions with each other. This paper provides a discussion of the results obtained in this experimental design, along with recommendations concerning methods to reduce the wear incurred by application equipment.