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Structural Adhesives Tailored To Meet Growing Automotive Manufacturing Needs

There are many advantages that can be gained by replacing fasteners with structural adhesives, particularly in the auto industry. Much lighter bonded composites can replace metal parts helping to improve performance and fuel economy while reducing emissions. Composites also allow materials to perform better by eliminating the weak points created by fastener holes, and help to reduce costs by speeding up assembly, even when the adhesive is more costly than the fasteners it replaces.

Although aerospace structures could theoretically use adhesives only, redundant fasteners are mandated, but in other industrial sectors including wind energy and marine fabrication, adhesives-only bonding has been embraced. The automotive industry is using adhesives on a larger scale than ever before, and so is the construction industry.

A growth industry

As a result, the market for structural adhesives is experiencing sustained growth, while an increasing number of new structural adhesives are being developed. Research indicates anywhere from 4.5% - 8% growth in the worldwide adhesives market.

Technical Challenges Overcome

Manufacturers are eager to adopt structural adhesives to simplify assembly, but adhesives chemistry is complex. In recent years, the adhesives industry has found a variety of ways to overcome or mitigate technical and formulating challenges, allowing its clients increased freedom in their materials choices and designs. Design engineers have enjoyed expanded capabilities as a result.

Recent Advances in Automotive Adhesives

The ability to bond composites to metals has become necessary for the auto industry, and these dissimilar substrates have widely differing CTEs. Automotive adhesives have to be able to accommodate this while retaining the integrity of bonds, despite movement and vibration. Auto makers also want adhesives that cure quickly and can be used with little or no surface preparation.

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