Not all bonds are created equally. Not only are some more difficult to produce than others, but some bonds are also more hazardous if they fail.
If you want a process that highlights difficult bonds, whilst considering the potential hazard, a bonding risk matrix is for you.
As industrial adhesive manufacturers here at Forgeway, we know you want to reduce the risk of failure. We want to help you reduce that risk.
This is why we have come up with a bonding risk matrix.
In this article, we will give you the details you need to understand the bonding risk matrix, how to create one, and assess whether it is a tool that could benefit your company.
What is Forgeway’s Bonding Risk Matrix?
Our Bonding Risk Matrix is a tool we created to help manufacturers reduce (sometimes eliminate) the risk of bond failure.
The matrix has two axes. One axis judges the bond on the likelihood of failure. The other axis judges the bond on the impact of failure.
For example, a bond that fixes a polypropylene handle onto a cabinet is more likely to fail due to the surface energy of the plastic. However, if the bond fails, the impact of the failure is low.
Therefore you wouldn’t need to rank it too high in the Bonding Risk Matrix.
If you were bonding a galvanised-steel solar panel on the roof of a caravan, we would rank this bond highly on the bonding risk matrix.
It is not only likely to fail due to the galvanised steel (which can be difficult to bond), it also has a larger impact if it fails.
A solar panel isn’t light. Should the panel unloose during travel, the potential risk to life is very high.
The Bonding Risk Matrix ensures you take a holistic approach when assessing a bond.
How do you create a bonding risk matrix?
Now you understand the Bonding Risk Matrix, it’s time to put it into practice for your organisation. Nonetheless, the process of assessing each bond is difficult.
Due to the importance of getting this task right, we like to take our time and use the best tools possible.
This ensures we have all the data needed to develop Bonding Risk Matrix as detailed and thorough as possible.
If you don’t follow good practice during this exercise, lives could be at risk.
If you want to create a bonding risk matrix, it’s best if you contact an adhesive expert to help ensure you conduct it correctly. However, if you’re the type that likes to do things themselves, keep reading.
With that in mind, here are some tips on how we create a bonding risk matrix for an organisation.
Test the surface and the bond
Testing the surface will give you a good idea if the bond is likely to fail. Although testing the surface can be difficult, you will know some substrates are likely to cause problems.
Low-surface energy plastics (like polypropylene), galvanised steel, and glass typically cause bonding problems.
However, there are different grades of these materials. It’s not easy to judge a problematic surface just by association. It’s best to get an accurate reading of the exact substrate you are using.
Once you have an understanding of the substrate(s) you are bonding, you need to test the bond. You need to test the actual bond.
Nonetheless, it is very difficult to test the bond in situ.
The best way to test the bond is to make a replica of the bond with the same substrates. Then, you can choose a testing method that exposes the bond to the same conditions it will experience in real life.
Once you have completed the testing process, you can assess the likelihood of failure. If the bond fails during the testing process, you can use data to determine how early the bond failed.
From that, you can that data give the bond a rating (between 1-5) in terms of how likely it is to fail.
If you want to gain a deeper understanding of testing substrates, watch the video below.
Assess the impact of failure
Now you have an idea of how likely the bond is to fail, you need to assess the potential damage bond failure could cause.
Once again this isn’t an easy task.
You need to ask the question, “how much impact could failure have?” The answer could lead you down the route of cost or could mean potential risk to people.
Either way, this task often leads to disputes as some people are naturally more cautious than others.
And as this part of the process is purely subjective, it can be hard to decide the ranking.
This is why we like to take a cautious but realistic approach to this step. However, if you don’t have an external expert to guide you, it will be down to you and your organisation to rank the potential impact of bond failure.
Plot the bond on the matrix
As soon as you have decided on the ranking for the bond’s possibility of failure and the impact of failure, you can plot the bond on the Bonding Risk Matrix.
If you don’t have access to a professional Bonding Risk Matrix, you can just simply add the two rankings together.
Once each bond has a total score next to it (adding both rankings will give a total score), you can see which bonds need the most focus.
From there, you can work through from the highest score down. You can then assess how you can reduce the likelihood of the bond failing.
The real difficult part is trying to come up with solutions to not only, reduce the risk of failure, but also reduce the impact of failure.
We like to understand the entire bonding process at this point. There may be some stages during the bonding process that will reduce the likelihood of failure.
Joint design and adhesive choice are a common starting point but there could be other ways to reduce the likelihood too (such as training or simplifying the bonding process).
This stage is where most companies look for the help of an adhesive expert.
Is a bonding risk matrix going to benefit your manufacturing process?
Well, yes. Of course, the Bonding Risk Matrix is going to benefit your manufacturing process. But only if you do it correctly.
And that’s the most important thing to remember. You have to ensure you back up your decisions with data and facts. If you are going to warp the rankings to make it easier, there is little point in creating a Bonding Risk Matrix.
This is the reason most companies like to make use of our technical expertise and testing facilities. It gives them the peace of mind they have backed their decisions with data and facts.
If you’re prepared to do the Bonding Risk Matrix properly and you have the facilities to back up decisions with facts and data, we couldn’t recommend it enough.
However, if you like the idea of creating a Bonding Risk Matrix but aren’t fully prepared, it would be a good idea to get external help from an adhesive expert. Or, work to get yourself ready and prepared to create a thorough Matrix.
If you want the help of an adhesive expert, reach out. An experienced member of our team will help you create a thorough Bonding Risk Matrix.