‘FloBond’ - Strength with Simplicity


Concept:

Fine flowing thermoplastic powder is spread onto a substrate surface having ‘anchoring interstices’ that the powder freely embeds into and blankets over. The substrate is then heated to melt the powder forming an inseparable plastic coating of any thickness.


Powder can be poly-ethylene/propylene, acrylic, PVC, Nylon®. Fibres, micro-balloons, grit, may be mixed in or layered.

Textile-fabric-fibre substrates have millions of natural interstices between the fibres and weave.

Solid substrates are provided with interstices such as GripMetal® hooks*, or beveled holes.


Features:

IP protected

Any combination of substrates: metals - fabrics - fibres - plastics - wood - concrete - pultrusions

A compatible plastic can be welded (melt-joined) to the coating

Concurrent molding/encapsulation of threads, fittings, inserts, while welding

Fabric remains porous to receive Epoxy etc.

Benefits:

Lightweight - Strong - Inexpensive.

Variable stiffness from very rigid, to highly resilient

Variable thickness and shape

Wide range of temperature applications

Open cores hold fasteners, batteries, motors, wires, fluids, cables, control rods, tensioners, etc.

Impervious or reactive coatings, or both

Can be shaped and formed before or after FloBonding

Advantages:

Low capital investment - low skill requirement

Open air fabrication. No ovens, no bagging, no vacuum

No adhesives

Tube cores can be ducts, conduits, guides, connectors, containers


*Over 1 billion items with such hooks have been made in Canada and sold worldwide.


Laminate fabrication:

A FloBond laminate is made by laying the substrate on Teflon film on an aluminum transfer sheet. Powder is spread on anchoring surface. Powder can be applied as dots, patches, lines, borders. A hot plate melts and fuses the powder into a homogeneous coat after which cools to a plastic skin or coat.

Composite fabrication:

A FloBond composite is made by welding a ‘core’ between two FloBond ‘skins’. The core can be of any number, shape, size, and orientation, and can be cut and formed from the FloBond laminate. The core is arranged and weighed down onto the first skin, then transferred to the hot-plate for melt-welding, then removed to cool, then inverted onto the second skin for the final weld.


Reviewed enthusiastically by:

Ali Yousefpour, Ph.D., Composites Products, Team Leader

Aerospace Manufacturing Technology Centre, Aerospace Research Center

National Research Council Canada