Bonding technologies: Air gap bonding (part 1 of 3)

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By Steve Baker | Jan 12, 2021
Front panel integration assembly

As displays become omnipresent in today’s world, display and touchscreen performance are becoming critical considerations when designing devices. A typical display is composed of many layers such as cover glass, a touch panel, and/or an LCD, that are combined to help the display function properly under its intended condition. GMN combines these separate pieces together using high-grade adhesives and unique bonding technologies.

As a front panel integrator, GMN offers three bonding technologies to help customers develop the ideal construction and stack-up of display components - air gap/framed adhesive, rigid-to-rigid liquid optically clear adhesive (LOCA), and rigid-to-rigid optically clear adhesive (OCA) bonding. These bonding solutions serve a wide range of industries, including medical, military, automotive, instrumentation, and industrial controllers. 

We will discuss the benefits and challenges of each of these bonding technologies in this three-part blog series. To begin, we will be reviewing our original bonding capability – air gap bonding. 

What is air gap bonding?

Air gap bonding uses a framed adhesive gasket that goes around the perimeter of the layers, leaving behind a small air gap within the stack-up. As there are no liquid adhesives to dispense or curing times, air gap bonding is significantly lower in cost than other bonding options.

Why choose air gap bonding?

Cost-effective and lightweight, an air gap construction is a popular solution for applications with no readability or impact-resistance requirements.

While the lower cost is a benefit, this construction can present a few challenges. When the layers are integrated with a gasket and an air gap is formed, it can affect the clarity of the screen in bright light due to additional light refraction. The inclusion of the air gap also causes the product to be more susceptible to moisture damage and breakage, so it isn’t ideal for outdoor applications or harsh environments.

To learn more about air gap bonding, watch our latest video.

Read our other blogs in the bonding series:

Bonding technologies: liquid optically clear adhesive (part 2 of 3)

Bonding technologies: optically clear adhesive (part 3 of 3)