For bonding metal to polypropylene, PowderBond has been found to be more than three times stronger than structural adhesives, and quicker and cleaner. The Automotive Lightweight Design Group (Leichtbau-im-Automobil) has been testing PowderBond at Paderborn University. Bonding strengths achieved between aluminium and different glass fibre composites from Huesker and Mitsubishi Advanced Materials far exceeded expected levels. Strengths of over 20Mpa were achieved with all test specimens.
The bonding component within PowderBond is activated by heat and pressure. It is a fusion bonding system occurring in seconds. Here is how it works:
- PowderBond is applied to the metal component (for any duration; PowderBond is said to have a long shelf life and remains in a ready-to-bond state)
- PowderBond-treated metal is placed with polypropylene composite (no need to surface-treat) in standard mould process
- Composite curing cycle runs. The metal becomes very strongly heat-fused to the composite
- Component removed from mould and ready to use.
The process was developed by Powdertech Surface Science, which provides surface treatments to the automotive, medical and other sectors.
The company says that the process was first used on a publicly-funded research project: “During our participation in an Innovate UK-funded collaborative project, a need arose to construct a mixed material chassis for a lightweight vehicle, the Ariel Hipercar. We had the PowderBond system in its early stages and decided to give it a try in this real-life project. It worked! The bond strengths were exceptional. PowderBond was ready to enable polypropylene-to-metal bonding in the wider world.”
See the website here: www.powderbond.co.uk