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Structural adhesive solution enables complete carbon fiber body-in-white

Dow Automotive Systems (Schwalbach, Germany) has furnished various automakers with customized adhesive solutions that enable bonding of lightweight materials, including carbon fiber composites. Application areas include compartment solutions for compact electric cars as well as trunk lids. Dow Automotive adhesives have also recently been deployed in the BMW i3 production, thereby realizing a complete carbon fiber body-in-white.

PlasticsToday Staff

February 3, 2014

2 Min Read
Structural adhesive solution enables complete carbon fiber body-in-white

Dow Automotive Systems (Schwalbach, Germany) has furnished various automakers with customized adhesive solutions that enable bonding of lightweight materials, including carbon fiber composites. Application areas include compartment solutions for compact electric cars as well as trunk lids. Dow Automotive adhesives have also recently been deployed in the BMW i3 production, thereby realizing a complete carbon fiber body-in-white.

Carbon fiber components stick together in BMW i3

Composites are of course gaining traction in automobile production due to their weight-saving potential, yet they remain difficult to join. Adhesives reportedly offer a reliable alternative to traditional mechanical and thermal processes, which cannot be applied to these lightweight materials. Advanced bonding solutions such as Betaforce structural adhesives from Dow Automotive are said to enable a continuous bond line and cohesive joining of surfaces.

Recent formulations of this adhesive offer a cycle time of around one minute and are currently being used for mass series production. Open time (the amount of time recommended for an adhesive to set before it is contacted with the opposing joint surface) can be adjusted to accommodate specific mounting requirements in the plant, such as a quicker curing time by infrared treatment. Further, the initial adhesion requires no additional fixing tools.

"Dow Automotive Systems is one of the pioneers in automotive bonding with more than 20 years of experience," said Steve Henderson, president Dow Automotive. "Now, this heritage is benefitting our current automotive customers as they increase their use of lightweight materials. Our expertise in the chemical aspects of adhesives as well as our application and process knowledge make us a leading development partner for all lightweight bonding technologies".

Dow Automotive is seeing an increase in requests for composite solutions, not only on the adhesive side but also for its resin portfolio and expects a significant growth here in the coming year.

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