Innovation of the month

Lower-weight components for the automotive industry

Leveraging the synergistic combination of matrix expertise, process know-how and an especially tailored adhesives portfolio, Henkel is able to offer a comprehensive range of sophisticated composite solutions for the automotive industry. With the development of its new polyurethane matrix resin, Loctite MAX 3, the world market leader in adhesives, sealants and functional coatings has taken a further important step toward the fully automated mass production of components based on glass and carbon fiber composite technology. In collaboration with KraussMaffei, Henkel has developed a process for the manufacture of composite components using high-pressure RTM (HP-RTM) technology that creates a surface quality good enough for automobile exteriors. The partner network also includes carbon fiber manufacturer Zoltek and the sports car builder and development services provider Roding Automobile. The technology showpiece adopted for the development for this innovative process was a lightweight yet high-strength carbon roof segment of the 950 kg sports car, the superlight Roding Roadster R1. It has succeeded in producing in a fully automated process composite components that exhibit a surface quality suitable for immediate painting. This has become possible thanks to the development of Loctite MAX 3: This new, three-component polyurethane-based matrix resin system from Henkel contains not only the resin and hardener but also a high-performance release agent aligned to a self-releasing polyurethane lacquer manufactured by Rühl Puromer GmbH.