Henkel’s fast-curing and reliable adhesives and matrix resins are answering the increasing call from the auto industry for high-performance continuous fibre-reinforced composites in integrated structural assemblies, according to the company.
“Adhesive bonding is replacing more conventional assembly methods involving welding, riveting and screwing,” says Henkel. “Not only is it highly effective, but it is also safer and simplifies many processes. Now, latest developments from Henkel make it possible to produce assemblies cost effectively in volumes that may exceed 10,000 parts per year.”
During a recent exhibition in Germany, for example, Henkel turned the spotlight on an adhesive for joining a carbon fibre-reinforced composite roof to a frame carrier made of thermoplastic. The adhesive, Loctite EA 9065, provides the high shear strength required for joining such important roof parts. It also bonds effectively to many different substrates, including steel and aluminium, as well as fibre-reinforced plastics or thermoplastic composites based on polyamides.
Loctite EA 9065 is said to provide high crash durability and can be formulated for fast curing, making it suitable for the automated application in large automotive series. “With Henkel offering high-performance adhesives, we have the right partner for the integration of different composite substrates as thermoplastic and thermosets,” explains Erich Fries, head of the Composites/Surfaces business unit at KraussMaffei.
Apart from composite adhesives that can be tailored to specific resins, Henkel also produces matrix resins for various types of fibre and textile-reinforced composites, as well as binders and release agents. It backs up its product offering, it states, with in-depth technical service that includes process know-how and engineering, as well as in-house testing capabilities for composites production.
“Henkel is taking a strategic approach to large-series automotive composites production,” says Frank Kerstan, global program manager, Automotive Composites. “We position ourselves as a solution provider of composites materials for structural parts across different automotive segments and tailored adhesives for the assembly of multi-substrate components. Henkel is particularly strong when it comes to providing process and application know-how in resin transfer moulding (RTM).”
Kerstan also highlights other strengths at Henkel, including a capability for flexible and specialised solutions for specific customer requests; access to automotive industry via its global automotive OEM/Tier 1 customer base; a global footprint through technical testing centres around the globe; and a strong focus on R&D and innovation. Henkel, it is also pointed out, can call on a broad partner network, covering machines, tools and engineering.