Some things just run in the family and in the case of Richard B. Wallace, and his heirs, the creative energy has never run its course.
Wallace founded his company, ND Industries in 1955 as the Nylok®-Detroit Corporation. At that time the company offered only one processing application, nylon pell-it inserts, and was based out of a back corner of a manufacturing plant owned by a friend. Wallace had some pretty impressive family roots, a lineage that contributed to his sense of adventure and entrepreneurship: The grandson of George G. Booth, founder of the Cranbrook Educational Community in Bloomfield, Mich., the great-grandson of James E. Scripps, founder of the Detroit News, and a great-nephew of William E. Scripps, the first man in Michigan to own and fly an airplane, R.B. Wallace didn’t know the meaning of the two words: “give up.”
When he decided one day to add a yellow nylon patch to the products offered through his company he found an untapped market in the automotive industry that quickly expanded into an indispensable service in automotive manufacturing. Currently, ND Patch is a leading fastening technology used not only in automotive manufacturing, but by a variety of industries in the U.S. and Asia.
Today ND Industries is headed by the founder’s son Richard M. Wallace, who has inherited all the drive and dedication of his forbearers, working harder than ever to make his company the best in the industry. ND® is now a fully integrated company on the cutting edge of new technological developments, offering more than 100 pre-applied processing and coating services and bottled products. ND owns and operates 17 facilities throughout the U.S., Taiwan, China, Mexico and Canada and has licensees throughout the world. The company has become a single-source supplier for pre-applied and user applied fastener locking, sealing, bonding, thread masking, and lubricating products and technology. ND Industries offers high quality, affordable alternatives to Nylok®, Loctite®, Long-Lok®, 3-M® and other big name products.
ND Industries Taiwan and ND Electronics (Kunshan, China) Co., Ltd. have a collective team of more than 200 Asian employees and facilities covering more than 60,000 square feet in plant floor area. Since its start up, ND Electronics has specialized in processing nylon patch for small screws (M1.4 to M3.5) for the electronics market that dominates the Shanghai and Suzhou basins.
In addition to ND’s service centers and corporate facilities in Clawson, Mich., ND also operates a cutting edge Technologies Group comprised of Design Engineering, Research and Development, and Chemical Blending Divisions. The Technologies Group divisions are staffed with expert engineers and chemists that work to develop and manufacture custom equipment and processing materials for ND Industries and ND customers alike.
ND’s manufacturing and Research and Development facilities are fully QS-9000, ISO 9001; 2000, AS9100 and QSLM certified, providing a wide range of automotive and military approved processes.
One company, many inventions
Over the years, ND has developed more than 100 high quality products and services to meet customer needs, including:
• ND Hi-Temp Patch – resistant to temperatures up to 500°F;
• ND EZ Drive Nut – a breakthrough in ergonomic technology that reduces end-load in thread-forming fastener assembly by up to 80 percent;
• ND Epoxy-Lock – the strongest Pre-Applied thread epoxy on the market;
• ND Spatter Nix – an MIG weld nozzle coating service that significantly decreases the adhesion of weld spatter;
• and many diverse products for virtually any assembly or fastening need.
ND currently owns 48 product and process patents in the U.S. and overseas with an additional 42 pending. One of ND’s notable achievements is Vibra-Tite VC3 Original. A one-of-a-kind product, Vibra-Tite VC3 Original has headed the list of exclusive, high quality fastening solutions offered by ND Industries for more than 40 years. The most effective inert, chemical threadlocker available, VC3 Original prevents fastener loosening from vibration or shock on even the smallest threaded fasteners used on eyeglasses and is the only product approved for use on the U.S. Army’s main battle tank.
Used in aerospace, construction, electronics, lawn and garden equipment, optics, and many more, VC3:
• is not an adhesive and not an anaerobic
• locks and seals
• works on fasteners of virtually any material or finish
• allows for adjustment and reuse
• minimizes galling or stripping
VC3 Original has been a key product in the development of ND’s bottled product division over the years. “We’re now expanding our bottled product division, and have grown so much as a company that we’re getting closer to offering our bottled products to retail markets,” Director of Advertising and Marketing Peggy Bruscha explains. Vibra-Tite will be the new brand identity for the ND bottled division.
One market in which ND excels is in pre-applied fastener coatings, which have become increasingly essential in the efforts of manufacturers to meet modern assembly requirements.
The micro-encapsulation of adhesive components in pre application technology has become one method of choice as a fast, clean and effective way of utilizing chemical bonding during assembly.
The premise of micro-encapsulation is that a two-part adhesive, typically epoxy, acrylic or similar, is applied to the fastener in a pre-application process. But, unlike the result of bottled adhesive applications, the two components of the adhesive do not mix during the application of the adhesive to the fastener. Instead, the components are dry-fused to the fastener and kept separated by micro-encapsulation. In effect, one component is contained within tiny spheres, micro-caps or micro-spheres, and kept separated from the second activating component until assembly occurs. The dry-fusing of the components to the fastener ensures that the coated fastener remains dry to the touch and clean to handle, and that the micro-encapsulation technology will not activate even if handled roughly. When assembly does occur, the force of the fastener engagement breaks open the micro-caps and allows the adhesive to activate, creating a positive bond.
Because of advancements in ND’s micro-encapsulation technology, a new two-in-one locking and sealing micro-encapsulated formula is available to assemblers, ND Expand-A-Seal ES0105®. This pre-applied, high-powered, microencapsulated thread-locking solution also provides an effective air and water-tight seal even under the strain of gas and fluid pressure.
ND Expand-A-Seal ES0105 can be applied to interior or exterior threaded fasteners of all sizes. And because it contains all of the components of the adhesive needed for activation, ND Expand-A-Seal only needs to be applied to either one of any two mating, threaded parts for effective sealing and locking.
With the implementation of ND Expand-A-Seal, concern about leakage and the use of multiple methods of locking and sealing on a single fastening component becomes a thing of the past. When ND Expand-A-Seal’s chemical adhesive agent is activated it simultaneously expands volumetrically 20-50 percent, filling any gaps and voids within the fastener threads and creating a positive seal against air and most automotive fluids. ND Expand-A-Seal will even effectively fill gaps resulting from the use of oversized fastener threads or fastener deformation that occurs during welding.
The seal created by this breakthrough technology will endure even under the force of air and fluid pressures, and has been successfully tested on straight threads under the strain of 115psi without compromise to its sealing capacity.
ND Expand-A-Seal can be used to seal and lock almost any critical application in which shock, vibration and fluid or air pressure could cause a fastener to loosen or a joint to leak and is ideal for applications where fittings must stay securely locked while under constant stress. Typical applications of this technology include: drain cocks, engine pipe plugs, air filtering connectors, compressor fittings, cooling connectors and much more.
Raising the Temperature
Another advance at ND is the ND Hi-Temp Patch®, the latest breakthrough in ND Patch Technologies, developed for assemblies that operate in elevated temperatures, such as those used in the aerospace, automotive, appliance industries, and others. ND Hi-Temp Patch performs in temperature extremes ranging from -70ºF to +500oF.
A patch is a coating applied to a fastener that creates a positive lock, preventing loosening and leakage at the fastening point. One of the more practical benefits of a patch application is that it replaces the need for costly lock washers, cotter pins or castellated nuts. These types of hardware components were the most commonly used methods to prevent fastener slippage before patch technology was available. To improve the cost efficiency on large runs, patch technology has also supplanted the use of bottled thread-locking compounds that require application at the point of assembly.
During the patch coating process the fastener to which the patch is being applied is heated to a precise temperature. This heating allows a powdered polymer material to flow into the shape of the fastener thread. During the ND Hi-Temp Patch process the custom formulated polymer material is stabilized to work at high temperatures. It is typically applied two to three threads back from the fastener end for easier starting of the nut/bolt assembly.
ND Hi-Temp Patch is clearly distinguishable from ND Patch®, by virtue of its color. ND Hi-Temp Patch is orange or gray, while ND Patch is normally yellow.
The ND Hi-Temp Patch coating, like ND Patch, works effectively like a spring or a dam. When a ND Hi-Temp Patch coated fastener is threaded onto a mating part, the patch material is compressed. This is when the sealing action begins. The compression of the patch material exerts a constant spring-like locking pressure between the fastener and its mate, creating a strong metal-to-metal contact. Even if the fastener is not fully seated, the pressure of the patch material forms a positive lock.
ND Hi-Temp Patch is used in the automotive, construction, medical, electronics, and aerospace industries as well as in military applications.
“As ND continues to grow into new markets our primary goal is to serve our customers to the best of our ability by providing support, information, and, above all, inventive, affordable and highly effective solutions for their fastening and assembly needs,” Bruscha says.
And so it would seem that a company built on a can-do-it attitude is continuing to prove what it – and its products – can do.