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Machine Design

Adhesives as tough as the Summer X Games

One loose nut and you can kiss more than a gold medal goodbye.

Carey Hart, owner of a patented trick called the Hart Attack, competed in the 2012 Summer X Games in Los Angeles. He used Henkel’s Loctite adhesives and sealants on his motorcycle.Changes have been made to the Moto X SuperMoto format at the X Games over the past few years that are creating a more important and demanding role for adhesives. There are now 45 laps to complete, up from 20. Riders have a mandatory pit stop after the fifth lap and pit crews have to rely only on manpower for any and all necessary changes. No power tools are allowed.

So let’s get into the specifics. Carey Hart, American freestyle motocross X Games athlete, uses several Henkel Corp. Loctite brand adhesives and sealants on his motorcycle:  threadlockers, thread sealants, gasket sealants, anti-seize materials, color guard primer, retaining compounds, penetrating oils, lubricants, insulating & sealing wrap, parts cleaners and adhesives. 

Will just a dab do ya? Maybe, but these products don’t seem to be pit-stop friendly. Threadlockers go on 1⁄4 to 3⁄4-in. bolts and cure in about ten minutes with the steel temperature at 25°C or 77°F.  Depending on how hot these bolts become during the X Games, the crew may have to cool them down with an activator, dry and reapply.  In technical data sheets, the threadlockers have a suggested full cure time of twenty-four hours.  However, in any case where you aren’t allowed to use power tools, one might say that any adhesive is better than no adhesive.

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