There are numerous applications that require a method of bonding using an adhesive but even Chemique Adhesives – an experienced UK manufacturer and supplier of adhesives - was surprised when it was contacted by Squirrel Cricket, an Australian company founded by cricketing enthusiasts which offers innovative grips for cricket bats.
Squirrel Grips take the form of a specially profiled sleeve that users fit over the handle of the bat to help them “set and forget” the grip – that is, set it in the optimum position just once, so that they can then forget about it. The challenge was to find an adhesive that would be easy for the owner of a bat to apply themselves and would hold the grip securely in place. For help with this, Derek Aslett, Associate of Squirrel Cricket, contacted Chemique Adhesives.
“Derek found us on the internet and gave us a call one day. Even though we had never worked on sports equipment before we happily took on the challenge. We had a few calls back and forth and he sent me pictures of the handle, along with details of what he was hoping to achieve. We suggested our Axil 2302 natural rubber contact adhesive but, to be sure that it would meet Squirrel Crickets’ demanding requirements, we wanted to carry out practical trials,” recalled John Bellerby, technical manager at Chemique Adhesives.
Derek then decided to visit the UK, where trials of the adhesive took place and positive feedback was received from 20 county players who used the grip.
“At Squirrel Cricket we focus on getting the simple things right. We believe that the innovative Squirrel Grip offers huge benefits for users. It helps to ensure that not only do they hold the bat correctly but also allows them to work on their balance and weight transfer with more confidence. We’ve also designed Squirrel Grips to last longer than ordinary grips, so that they don’t need to be regularly changed. Finding the right adhesive for securing the grip to the bat was very important for making sure that the grip performed in the way we wanted,” explained Derek Aslett.
The Axil range from Chemique Adhesives includes high strength, versatile adhesives that are used for a variety of industrial applications and are typically suited for bonding many substrates including card, fabric, foam, insulation, metal, plastic, rubber including PVC/EPDM and wood.
Axil adhesives are easy to apply and, in this application, a thin layer of adhesive was brushed onto the handle of the bat before the Squirrel Grip was positioned and moulded to match the user’s handprint.
“I found Chemique through a simple web search. The company appeared to have the expertise and products we would need, so I started a dialogue and found that the Chemique technical team were very helpful and on the ball. Their insights into our application requirements were excellent, they were very responsive, and the product has proved to be exactly what we needed,” says Derek Aslett.
“This application was a little different from most of those we get involved in, but from the outset we were confident we could meet Squirrel Crickets’ requirements. We’re always ready to listen to our customers and devise great solutions for them, whether the order volumes are large or small,” comments John Bellerby.
Having joined the magazine in 2012, Claire developed her knowledge of the industry through the numerous company visits, exhibitions and conferences she attended both in the UK and abroad.
Responsible for social media and the online platforms, Claire prides herself on keeping readers well informed and up to date with the latest industry news.