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Formoa 017FE; Pros, cons, and uses

Thomas Besley | 5 min. read

Formoa 017FE; Pros, cons, and uses

When evaluating adhesive products, it can be difficult to know where to find unbiased reviews of the products you are considering. Formoa 017FE is a product you are considering for your application, and now you want to know all about it.

Here at Forgeway, we manufacture over 3000 tonnes of adhesives every year. We manufacture Formoa 017FE and it is one of our most popular products around the world.

But what makes it so popular and is it a good adhesive option for you? Whilst we would say it most likely is a good adhesive option for you, there are a few drawbacks to using Formoa 017FE which may not make it a good fit for you.

We wrote this article to give you an unbiased overview of the product. We know you will be thinking ‘why would Forgeway write an unbiased article about their own product?’.  That’s why we asked a customer who uses 017FE to help us ensure this article is unbiased. They helped us determine the good, and also the bad characteristics of using Formoa 017FE.

This article will give you an overview of 017FE, outline the benefits and drawbacks of using it, and walk through the ideal uses. By the end of the article, you will know whether Formoa 017FE is a good fit for you.

What is Formoa 017FE?

First things first, Formoa 017FE is a one-component structural adhesive. It is a structural adhesive because our customers use it for situations where the bond needs to be structural. And because the base chemistry is MS polymer, it is moisture curing. Moisture curing just means that the adhesive requires an increased amount of moisture (like the air) to begin curing.

Because it only requires moisture to cure, it doesn’t need to come in two-component packaging. You can either get Formoa 017FE in a 290ML plastic cartridge or a 600ML foil pack ‘sausage’. 

Formoa 017FE review
You can have cartridges or sausages

Despite it being an MS polymer-based product, Formoa 017FE is not primarily intended for use as a sealant. It does have very good sealant properties though. 

The letters ‘FE’ on the end of the name may seem strange. They simply stand for ‘Far East’. The reason behind these letters is that the original Formoa 017 cured too fast in hot and humid climates (like in the Far East). We developed Formoa 017FE so it wouldn’t cure too quickly in hot and humid climates.
Now, Formoa 017FE has become one of our most popular products for a massive variety of conditions all around the world regardless of whether it is used in -40°C or +40°C conditions.

What are the advantages of using Formoa 017FE?

When we discuss the advantages of 017FE in this section, we are comparing them against other MS polymer adhesives rather than adhesives in general. This is because you should have already established that MS polymer adhesives are a good fit for you. Now you should be working out which MS polymer adhesive is best for you.

It has very high tensile strength

A tensile strength of 4Mpa means it is capable of holding medium-to-heavy structures in place. 4Mpa simply means it can hold 4kg of force per squared millimetre of adhesive. To put that into context, you would only need 5 millimetres squared of 017FE to hold a 20kg panel in place. We would never recommend using that little amount of adhesive though.

Bonding an aluminium bus panel with glue

Bonds to most materials

In complicated terms, we would refer to this as having a ‘good adhesion profile‘. It effectively means that it can bond to most materials. Steel and GRP are traditionally difficult to bond to with MS polymer adhesives. Formoa 017FE can form very high-strength bonds with both steel and GRP. You can even bond low surface energy plastics like polypropylene when using it with a specialist primer.

It is fast curing

Most MS polymer adhesives have a relatively slow cure (between 48 and 72 hours for full cure). Formoa 017FE has a fast cure compared to most other MS polymer adhesives. Of course, multiple factors can affect the cure speed, but it would typically take between 4-24 hours to reach handling strength.

Good weathering resistance

ASTM G154 accelerated weather testing allows us to see how adhesives perform in simulated harsh weather conditions. Formoa 017FE maintained its high strength despite going through these harsh conditions. Although ASTM G154 testing doesn’t tell the full story, it does give an idea of how the adhesive will perform in those conditions. You will not have to worry about Formoa 017FE degrading when exposed to harsh weather conditions like cold, hot, or wet climates

MS polymer adhesives require moisture to cure

What are the disadvantages of using Formoa 017FE?

Once again, the disadvantages we discuss here are in comparison to other MS polymer adhesives. You should know that MS polymer adhesives are a good option at this point. If you are unsure, we advise you to check out our article on structural adhesives.

Can cure too quickly

The original Formoa 017 cured too quickly for most companies to work with. When we developed 017FE, the goal was to slow this cure speed. Now, Formoa 017FE has a skin-over time of 10 minutes and a max open time of 20 minutes. This means that it takes 10 minutes to develop a skin, so you ideally want to put the substrates in place before it develops a skin. If you don’t put the substrates in place before 20 minutes, you will struggle to create a strong bond.

Less flexible than other MS polymers

When comparing Formoa 017FE against adhesives in general, flexibility is one of its main advantages. However, when compared to other MS polymer adhesives, the elongation at break score of 300% is relatively low. Some MS polymer adhesives can achieve scores of more than 700% but these adhesives wouldn’t have such high strength as Formoa 017FE.

Can be difficult to work with

All MS polymers have a high grab. This means it doesn’t always need the help of clamps or similar devices to hold the substrate(s) in place. This is because they usually have a high viscosity (thick). Highly viscous adhesives are typically hard to work with though. So whilst Formoa 017FE has a high grab, it can be quite difficult to work with. We don’t recommend using a manual gun when working with it.

A non-manual applicator is best when using Formoa 017FE

Where can you use Formoa 017FE?

Most adhesive manufacturers would say “you can use [insert adhesive name] in most bonding situations that require a strong bond with high flexibility.” However, we know that this is not a very helpful answer. Whilst it is technically true, there are certain situations where we would always recommend using Formoa 017FE. 

Because of its high strength and high flexibility, Formoa 017FE is the perfect adhesive for bonds that need to be high strength but will come under dynamic load. Dynamic load effectively means that the adhesive will come under more than one type of stress. 

So if you are a bit confused about what this all means, here are some examples of where you would need a strong and flexible adhesive like Formoa 017FE.

Formoa 017FE is the perfect adhesive for bonding parts onto moving structures like vehicles. 

  • Bonding GRP domes onto steel minibus frames.
  • Bonding GRP sandwich panels into a ‘box-shape’ for delivery vans
  • Bonding stainless steel side panels on buses
handling strength of bus

Is Formoa 017FE the right adhesive for you?

The answer to this question is likely ‘yes‘. You were likely suggested this product or have read this article because you were already interested in using Formoa 017FE. This product is one of our most popular for a reason.

This article will have given you a greater overview of the product. You will now be able to assess whether it is a good fit for you. 

Whenever clients ask us if Formoa 017FE is a good fit, we have to assess their situation first. However, there is one simple process we always follow. If the bond is going to be under dynamic load and will experience movement, Formoa 017FE is likely the right product for you.

Here at Forgeway, we know it’s not always simple. There are so many different factors you need to consider when choosing an adhesive product. The decision process isn’t easy. 

If you want the help of a member of our team, you can get in touch with us, and we will be happy to help.

Alternatively, you may want to make the decision yourself. In that case, you can download the technical data sheet for Formoa 017FE by filling in the form below.

Download the technical datasheet for Formoa 017FE

Thomas Besley

Thomas is the Content Manager here at Forgeway. Thomas' job is to translate the technical jargon from the ivory tower of academia into easy-to-read content that everyone can understand. Forgeway's mission is to answer every question our customers and prospective clients ask, or are apprehensive to ask.