Kernkompetenz Klebtechnik
Kernkompetenz Klebtechnik

Adhesive Bonding

Adhesive bonding has become the preferred joining technology of the 21st century. It allows the effective joining of the same or different materials and plays a vital role in ground-breaking lightweight multi-material structures. Besides having excellent mechanical properties, bonded joints are also used to provide heat conduction, electrical insulation, sealing properties, and bridge dimensional variation. Effectively designed bonding processes can be smoothly integrated into series production. Unlike welding, bonded joints do not adversely affect the mechanical properties of the substrates. Furthermore, process design allows bonded joints of high quality to be guaranteed. For all these reasons, adhesive bonding has now become widely used in many sectors of industry.

Adhesive bonding at Fraunhofer IFAM

Fraunhofer IFAM is the leading R&D organization in the area of adhesive bonding technology, worldwide. Since 50 years, highly qualified multidisciplinary scientists devote their energy to advance continuously the state-of-the-art of adhesive bonding. This long experience backed expertise, and the cutting-edge facilities are utilized by the more than 200 people. They provide high-quality services and carry out R&D projects for a variety of customers. Our services range from preliminary consulting to detailed design and implementation of verified production concepts.

We would be delighted to help you with your issues, advise you personally, and prepare an individual offer according to your requirements.

Adhesive bonding in industrial production

The integration of adhesive bonding into industrial production requires adhesive application technology adapted for the particular task. Adhesive selection must take account of the requirements of the end product and the production. The design of bonded joints is based on analytical data or numerical models. Experimentally determined parameters of materials, joints, and components are used for this. Simultaneously the flow and curing properties are characterized in order to design the production process. For demanding bonded joints and difficult surfaces it is often necessary to pretreat the substrate surfaces. The substrates are cleaned and activated or modified to enable the adhesives to adhere to them with good long-term stability. The aging behavior must be measured in order to estimate the service life. Dosing and application technologies are part of an automated joining process. To reduce cycle times, rapid curing methods are often employed. Effective production processes have integrated quality assurance systems and require appropriately trained staff.

Adhesive bonding in practice

Bonding processes must be customized: In the transport industry, for example, there is a huge difference between the bonding of bodywork in the car manufacturing industry, the bonding of glass in rail vehicle manufacture, and the bonding of sandwich structures in the aircraft manufacturing industry. Micro-joints in the electronics industry require special adhesives and have special physical boundary conditions. Here the quantities of adhesive required can be a million times less than when bonding large scale structures. Medical technology is putting new requirements on the safety and biocompatibility of adhesives. For aviation and aerospace applications it must be borne in mind that the adhesives must be able to withstand extremely high and extremely low temperatures. In the packaging industry key factors are the production costs and production rate.

Services and advice on adhesive bonding matters

The range of services and advice we offer cover adhesive selection, characterization of the mechanical and processing properties of adhesives, the design and qualification of bonded structures, thermoanalytical/spectroscopic/rheological and physical characterization, the development and application of dosing and application processes, advice on quality assurance matters for bonding processes, customer-specific design of industrial processes, the testing and manufacture of adhesive tapes, failure/damage analysis, and the rectification of production faults.

This work is facilitated by our extensive know-how regarding the polymer chemistry and formulation of adhesives and our state-of-the-art equipment for surface pre-treatment and surface analysis. A comprehensive range of training courses in adhesive bonding technology, at both national and international levels, with recognized certification is also offered by Fraunhofer IFAM. Furthermore, we provide companies with the assistance needed to ensure their bonding processes are in accordance with DIN 2304 "Adhesive bonding technology – Quality requirements for bonding processes". Fraunhofer IFAM provides approved DIN 6701 auditors for adhesive bonding in rail vehicle manufacture.


Please contact us. We provide you with expert advice.


Research objectives for adhesive bonding


  • Electromobility

Development and characterization of heat conducting and electrically conducting bonded joints in battery modules and drive trains  

  • Hybrid joints

Use of adhesive bonding in combination with mechanical joining methods such as riveting, folding, and clinching

  • Rapid processes

Accelerated adhesive curing via thermal excitation and the realization of rapid handling strength using new dual-cure adhesives

  • Aging

Acquisition of improved understanding of the aging of bonded joints and the application of rapid tests for safe dimensioning

  • Adhesive bonding in civil engineering

Development of bonding processes for load-bearing structures for windows, facades, wooden construction, and heavy-duty steel construction

  • Quality assurance

Development of new processes for the inline monitoring of bonding processes

  • DIN 2304

Introduction of the new standard for adhesive bonding in manufacturing companies that came into force on 1 January 2016

The latest news about adhesive bonding

The latest updates about adhesive bonding at Fraunhofer IFAM can also be found on our LinkedIn page.


»Award for Morten Voß at Adhesive Bonding 2021«

The researcher Morten Voß from Fraunhofer IFAM receives an award for the best presentation at the “6th International Conference on Structural Adhesive Bonding 2021“. Among 129 presentations, his contribution was awarded for the best scientific content and excellent presentation quality. His topic was the accelerated curing of adhesives using special magnetic susceptors, so-called Curie particles. These can be introduced into adhesives as fillers and heated by an external electromagnetic field. The thermal energy generated leads to a faster chemical crosslinking reaction of the adhesive, which thus takes place within minutes. Normally, this process takes many days.

“We congratulate Morten Voß on this outstanding achievement and are pleased to have him on our team. Our department investigates the heating behavior of Curie particle cured adhesive layers on different component geometries aiming to make the manufacturing process more efficient in practice“, explains Dr. Holger Fricke, head of department “Adhesive Bonding Technology“ at Fraunhofer IFAM.

More information


»Characterize and optimize gap fillers and develop production processes«

Cooling the batteries of electric vehicles is a very recent topic. Gapfillers are used for this purpose. The highly thermally conductive pastes must be optimized and production processes suitable for series production must be developed. So-called squeeze-flow tests are a key to characterizing the gap fillers and simulating the injection processes.

The article "Optimized heat dissipation of Energy Storage Systems" is the cover story of the current issue of the magazine "adhesion Adhesives+ Sealants” (3/2020) and presents corresponding work by Audi AG and the Fraunhofer IFAM.

Read the article here.

Discover the adhesive bonding process chain:

Fraunhofer IFAM carries out in-house all steps of the adhesive bonding process chain.

As the worldwide number 1 in the area of adhesive bonding technology, our institute works on the development and improvement of future oriented technology and focuses on its applicability in practice.

Watch our video to learn more about our work and the process chain of this omnipresent and exciting research field!

Learn more about the adhesive bonding expertise at Fraunhofer IFAM in our different departments


Adhesive Bonding Technology

The R&D work involves the whole process chain of adhesive bonding, from adhesive selection to integration of bonding processes into industrial production.


Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering

R&D work is carreid out on new combinations of materials and function-integration made possible by the use of adhesive bonding.


Workforce Training and Technology Transfer

The department offers customized courses for the field of adhesive bonding technology.


Adhesives and Polymer Chemistry

The department's work covers applications involving adhesives, fiber composite materials, casting, and functionalized surfaces.


Automation and Production Technology

The work covers automated assembly processes involving adhesive bonding, the manufacture of lightweight structures, and the production of fiber composites, including large components.