The result sticks

Confirmation that adhesive-bonded joints for stainless steel pipework provide completely satisfactory long life connection has just been published by Lancashire Fittings after an extended trial. Following a trial that has lasted 20 years, Lancashire Fittings, the specialist manufacturer of stainless steel capillary fittings has published the results of its findings relating to the use of adhesive-bonded joints. It was in 1981 that Company Chairman Dr Dick Wakelin initiated the trial following reports of poor performance from joints using the traditional copper capillary fittings on the then, relatively new, stainless steel thin-walled longitudinally-welded tubing. While adhesive bonding appeared to offer the answer, long-term scientific evidence to back up the theory did not exist. Dr Wakelin therefore constructed an experiment using the central heating system installed at the works of Lancashire Fittings in Harrogate, incorporating two separate circuits – one for hot and another for cold water. The adhesives used were Loctite 638 and Permabond A128, both being cold-curing anaerobic products based on dimethacrylate esters. Over the 20-year life of the trial held in conjunction with the Mechanical Engineering Department of Leeds University and tested every year, not one single leak developed at any of the joints.

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