New product manufacturing techniques offer same occupational exposure concerns

Thinner. Lighter. Faster. Stronger. These are words that describe current trends in product manufacturing.

The desire for wearable technology means products must be light, small, and moisture resistant. Regulatory pressure on the auto industry has forced manufacturers to source alternative materials that are lighter and stronger. Even the medical industry is developing prototypes, molds, and implants from 3D printers and flexible materials.

While metal-to-metal and plastic-to-plastic bonding methods are readily available, this reinvention of product manufacturing has unveiled a great need for adhesive agents that provide a strong, lasting bond between dissimilar materials.

Multi-surface bonding adhesives

HK121 Loctite_4090_handgun.jpgHybrid bond adhesives usually involve two or more parts that must blend together before application.

For example, Loctite® 4090™ is marketed as a hybrid bond adhesive containing Part A (resin) and Part B (hardener). Using a special nozzle provided, the parts are blended right before they are dispensed through the nozzle head.

This particular product requires curing at room temperature and could take up to a week of curing for full performance properties to set in.  During the application and curing process, workers may be exposed to harmful, irritating chemicals if not properly ventilated.

Chemical ingredients and associated health hazards

Using our previous example of Loctite® 4090™, there are material safety data sheets (MSDS) for the product as a whole as well as Part A and Part B. Upon review, we found the following chemical ingredients:

Part A

  • Ethyl 2-cyanacrylate
  • Vinyl chloride-vinyl acetate copolymer

Part B

  • Epoxy resin
  • Epoxidized polymer
  • Soluble oligomer of hexanedioic acid ester
  • Treated fumed silica
  • Epoxidized Resin

Other statements found in the MSDS’ include:

  • Clean all surfaces with a Loctite® cleaning solvent. (Read our previous blogs on solvent vapor)
  • Exposure to vapors above the established exposure limit results in respiratory irritation, which may lead to difficulty in breathing and tightness in the chest.
  • May cause respiratory tract irritation.
  • Use positive down-draft exhaust ventilation if general ventilation is insufficient to maintain vapor concentration below established exposure limits.

The chart below outlines regulatory and/or recommended workplace exposure limits to the chemical ingredients.

Chemical OSHA PEL NIOSH REL ACGIH TLV Side Effects
Ethyl 2-cyanacrylate None None 0.2 ppm TWA The substance can be absorbed into the body by inhalation of its vapor. The substance is severely irritating to the eyes and the skin. Repeated or prolonged contact may cause skin sensitization.
Vinyl chloride-vinyl acetate copolymer None None None Proprietary ingredient.
Epoxy resin None None None Irritant, Allergen
Epoxidized polymer None None None N/A
Soluble oligomer of hexanedioic acid ester None None None N/A
Treated fumed silica 15 mg/m3 TWA Total Dust.5 mg/m3 TWA Respirable Dust. N/A 10 mg/m3 TWA Inhalable Dust.3 mg/m3 TWA Respirable Dust. Irritant
Epoxidized resin None None None N/A

It is important that operators are protected from the inhalation hazards of adhesive and epoxy vapors.

The use of engineering safety controls to capture and ventilate contaminated air away from the operator is a great solution if your work environment does not adequately remove these fumes.

Downdraft Benches

Sentry Air Systems’ family of downdraft benches offers users a negative-pressure air filtration system that doubles as a workstation.

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Industrial Downdraft Bench [SS-440-DDB]

Our Industrial Downdraft Table [SS-44-DDB] has over 6 square feet of perforated stainless steel work area, with a solid stainless steel edge for resting tools.

When connected to our Model 400 air cleaner with HEPA and activated carbon filters, the downdraft table pulls contaminated air and particulate through the perforated surface and into the filtration chamber.

Harmful fume and vapor are adsorbed into the carbon while fine particulate is trapped in the HEPA filter. Cleansed air is then recirculated back into the room.

Portable Downdraft Bench - Sit [SS-435-DDB-SIT]

Portable Downdraft Bench – Sit [SS-435-DDB-SIT]

Our Portable Downdraft Benches come in two convenient heights (Standing and Sitting) and offer users portability and modularity. Users can also choose between an all metal doghouse enclosure or a Plexiglas enclosure.

These compact, portable downdraft benches have a perforated stainless steel worktop and a Model 400 air cleaner mounted below.

Industrial locking casters make moving these units easy, and the simple ‘plug-and-play’ operation allows users flexibility in where they work.

Activated Carbon

For effectively removing VOC, epoxy and adhesive vapor, we recommend equipping the air cleaner with our granule activated carbon filter. The activated carbon granules are full of microscopic tunnels and cavities that adsorb chemical molecules. We have a short video on our YouTube channel that further describes this process.

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Contact Sentry Air

For more information about our fume extraction systems, give Sentry Air a call at 800.799.4609, email sales@sentryair.com, or fill out the feedback form on our website or below.

*The purpose and use of the Loctite® brand in this blog is solely for informational purposes due to its familiarity among users. Information was pulled directly from the company’s website.