05/10/2007, Düsseldorf / Germany
Henkel Helps Drive Innovation in Grand Prix Racing
Henkel products and technologies play a key role in the team’s continual process of innovation to gain the competitive edge in aerodynamics. In wind-tunnel testing, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes engineers determine optimal aerodynamic settings using 60-percent scale models of the MP4-22, created with the help of the Henkel product line used in creating the race car. For example, Loctite® 420 instant adhesive is used to bond plastic parts to the model’s rear wing. This low viscosity adhesive quickly “wicks” between the parts, leaving no excess residue that would affect the airflow during testing, enabling engineers to draw reliable results.
Design modifications resulting from wind-tunnel tests are then quickly executed on the car’s bodywork mouldings, using Henkel’s Syncore® brand epoxies, which add stiffness to parts and only minimally increase weight. Henkel’s Hysol® EA9686 film adhesive is used in the “lay-up” of materials, in which patterns are cut to size to form specific parts. This Henkel product is chosen for its excellent reliability and resistance to the extreme conditions on the racetrack.
The newly modified car then takes to the track for testing before race day. Performance analyses of pre-race test sessions are passed on to the design team at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, England. If further modifications are necessary, engineers at the centre quickly mould parts to the new aerodynamic specifications –– and ship them to the circuit in time for the race. Through such continual modifications, by the end of any given race season, the car’s components can have changed by as much as 75 percent compared to those in the car that started the year.
“Like Henkel’s ongoing commitment to leading manufacturers in diverse industries around the world, our engagement with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is more than a one-off contribution,” said Alois Linder, Executive Vice President, Adhesives Technologies, Henkel. “This team effort enables us to continually prove and refine the reliability and performance of Henkel products in a racing sport driven by continual change. It also helps us feed the insights gained into new product development and to further innovate the way we support companies of all industries with state-of-the art products, technologies and manufacturing processes.”
McLaren Racing, the company behind the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team, was formed in September 1980 as a result of a merger between Team McLaren and Project Four, a British company owned by Ron Dennis, now Chairman and CEO of the McLaren Group. McLaren has won eleven Formula One Drivers’ Championships and eight Formula One Constructors’ Championships including the 1998 and 1999 Drivers’ World Championship. McLaren has competed in Formula One since 1966 and has proven to be one of the most successful Formula One teams of all time with 149 Grands Prix wins. To date, McLaren has raced in 617 Grands Prix. For more information, go to www.mclaren.com.
Henkel - A Driving Force in the Racing World
Around the world, Henkel has an extensive commitment to motorsports. In 2004, the Henkel logo appeared for the first time on the rear-wing of the Team McLaren Mercedes race cars, thereby continuing the technical association with the team, which began in 1995 through the Loctite® brand. As Official Supplier, Henkel provides a wide variety of innovative solutions to the team. More than 300 different applications of Henkel products have been incorporated into the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-22 for its challenge in the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship. For the 16-day, 8,000-kilometer 2007 Dakar Raid through grueling desert terrain, Henkel provided each racing team with an essential mechanical emergency kit containing a wide range of adhesives, sealants, maintenance products, cleaners and bonding tapes.