05/18/2005, Düsseldorf

 

 
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  Corporate Communications, Brand Communications
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Henkel Innovation Comes Through in the Clutch for Team McLaren Mercedes

Demanding more gear changes than in any other Formula One race, the Monaco Grand Prix allows no margin for error. Taking on hairpin turns, drivers downshift from seventh gear to first within seconds, putting transmissions under strains that have spelled ruin for many a team's hopes for victory. After Kimi Raikkonen's convincing victory at the Spanish Grand Prix, this weekend's race will be a proving ground for the Team McLaren Mercedes MP4-20, its gearbox, and the Henkel products that help keep it together
The narrow and winding streets of Monte Carlo make for one of the most challenging races in the Grand Prix series. The 280 kilometres in 78 laps of Formula One's last remaining "street course" require more than 3,000 gear changes, each taking around 20 milliseconds - and each downshift the rough equivalent of a flat-out nose-dive from fifth gear into second in a road car travelling at 110 kilometres per hour.

While straining the MP4-20's chassis and engine through continual acceleration and deceleration, the brunt of the burden is on the car's transmission. Throughout the gearbox and in more than 100 applications on the cars, Henkel products are helping Team McLaren Mercedes optimise components to the particular characteristics of each race venue and to the changing dynamics of motor sport itself.

"Races such as Monaco push the cars and components to their limits, illustrating the key role that Henkel products play in our cars' performance," said Martin Whitmarsh, CEO, Formula One, Team McLaren Mercedes. "Like no other track in the world, the course calls for extreme, split-second gear shifts. We couldn't build a gearbox that

could repeatedly withstand this kind of strain without Loctite brand products."

Geared Up for 'Stressful' Racing
Henkel's high-strength Loctite brand adhesives are applied in numerous places throughout the MP4-20's gearbox assembly, anywhere connections are bolted - and even where they are not: the only thing holding the gearbox assembly's front nut in place is Loctite 648. This same product also secures the crown wheel to the differential to prevent fretting (wear caused by small metal particles generated on assembly). Loctite 2701 locks in place the eight gearbox mounting studs, preventing loosening from vibration and providing maximum resistance to hot oil.

Henkel products offer Team McLaren Mercedes engineers excellent workarounds to tricky design challenges, using applications that once revolutionized the entire automobile industry and continue to drive today's manufacturing innovations. Loctite(r) 5368 is the engineers' solution of choice to seal the gearbox "T"-joint, which would be nearly impossible to seal mechanically without complicated design due to the need to bond in two directions.

"Requiring innovation, precision, endurance and reliability, our relationship with Team McLaren Mercedes offers an ideal proving ground for Henkel products and their further development," said Heinrich Gruen, senior vice president, Henkel Technologies. "Henkel products have long been a staple of designers' toolkits to accelerate assembly processes and enhance longevity of production cars. For Team McLaren Mercedes, Henkel delivers quality products and technologies that perform under the most extreme conditions that motor racing has to offer."

An Automotive Revolution Powered by Henkel Products
When the Loctite product line was launched more than fifty years ago, it was deemed a miracle. Today, it forms the heart of basic assembly fundamentals across various manufacturing industries and has been adopted by virtually all car manufacturers around the world. As late as the 1960s, car makers were still plagued with the problem that passenger car components fastened merely with bolts would eventually come loose - not to mention the labour intensity involved in fastening the hundreds of bolts per vehicle assembled. With Loctite brand products, car makers had a sure-fire, lower cost method of bonding components and streamlining manufacturing processes. Today, Loctite brand products are used on nearly all high-performance production cars to prevent vibration and noise, extend component lifecycle, prevent leaks and reduce vehicle weight and assembly time.

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 100 different applications of Henkel products have been incorporated into the Team McLaren Mercedes MP4-20 for its challenge in the 2005 Formula One World Championship. In North America, Henkel's NASCAR sponsorships include several brands with the No. 66 Ford Taurus from Brewco Motorsports - driven by Greg Biffle, a rising NASCAR star boasting three career NEXTEL Cup Series wins - and the Loctite brand with Robert Yates Racing and the No. 38 M&M'S(r) Ford. For the three-week, 10,000-kilometer 2005 Dakar Raid through gruelling 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. In addition, a Henkel engineer accompanied the raid, providing each team with technical back-up and support at each of the bivouacs.