05/19/2005, Tokyo/Düsseldorf




Name Wolfgang Zengerling
  Research & Development, Sustainability
Phone 0049-211-797-9336
Fax 0049-211-798-5598
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Researchers share views at Henkel's Polymer Research Symposium in Japan
Polymers for high-performance applications

The future belongs to polymers. These chemical compounds made up of giant molecules offer major benefits to the automotive and aerospace industries by helping to improve vehicle crash safety and reduce aircraft fuel consumption. Dr. Wolfgang Gawrisch, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Henkel Group, and Professor Takeshi Endo, Scientific Director of Henkel's joint research center "Henkel Kindai Laboratories" have invited Japanese and German scientists from the academic and industrial worlds to attend a Polymer Research Symposium on Friday, May 20. The event will be held at the Henkel Technology Center in Isogo, Yokohama, to mark "Germany Year in Japan."
Henkel and polymers have one thing in common. They both make people's lives easier, better and more beautiful. In Japan, researchers will discuss how this can best be achieved. One of the questions they will address will be whether the automotive and aviation industries can make use of completely new materials.

Composite polymers from Henkel are already in use in the aircraft construction industry, and the Company is developing an even more efficient polymer-based technology for the next generation of aircraft. "Composite materials, usually of carbon-fiber-reinforced resins, are a logical option," says Dr. Thomas Huver, director polymer research at Henkel.

Henkel wants to take the innovative resin technology forward to create the basis for industrial-scale application. With the new composite materials, it should be possible to achieve significant savings in production costs and - over the lifetime of an aircraft - fuel consumption. For instance, the fuselages of the next generation of aircraft could be made 30 percent lighter with the new composite materials. As a partner and systems supplier to the aircraft industry in the fields of surface treatment and adhesives technology, Henkel is opening up a new market with excellent growth prospects.

In the automotive construction industry, too, polymers help to make lighter and safer solutions a reality. One example is Terocore structural foam from Henkel, which reinforces car body cavity structures to provide enhanced crash safety. As the structural foams are very light, weight savings of up to 50 percent can be achieved relative to a conventional steel solution. And - the lower the weight, the lower the fuel consumption.

Henkel, global market leader in industrial adhesives, sealants and surface treatment, markets individually tailored system solutions worldwide. Henkel continuously researches and develops innovative products and technologies offering benefits to the customer.

In 2004, Henkel invested 272 million euros in research and development. This corresponds to 2.6% of its total sales. Henkel employs some 2800 people in research, product development and applications technology throughout the world, especially in Germany, Ireland, France, Japan and the USA. Henkel has a total of 15 research and development centers and is engaged in 200 cooperation projects with external partners. Highlights of its research and development include the creation of high-performance composite polymer systems for the aerospace, automotive and electronics industries, and high-performance adhesives with long-term stability for the automotive and aerospace industries.

Henkel has been represented in Japan for more than 50 years. The Company established the research enterprise Henkel Kindai Laboratories (HKL), headquartered in Iizuka, Kyushu, in 2001. HKL is a leading technology research center. It is run jointly by Henkel Research and Kinki University. The aim of HKL is to convert innovative research results rapidly and efficiently into novel consumer products and technologies. Its core competence is polymer research. These activities are complemented by the work of the Henkel Technology Center Asia Pacific, in Isogo, Yokohama, which was opened in 2002, where all previous development activities in Japan are now concentrated. Thanks to this Center, Henkel can offer product and system solutions for Japan and the entire Asian market. Its core competence is the development of adhesives and sealants for the automotive and electronics industries in particular, and industry in general. Gerhard Schlosser, President of Henkel Japan, is confident that Henkel is well positioned in the world's second largest economy for further growth. Our business in Japan now includes brands and technologies such as Schwarzkopf, Pritt, Dufix, Loctite, Liofol, P3 and Hysol."

"Henkel - A Brand like a Friend". Henkel is a leader with brands and technologies that make people's lives easier, better and more beautiful. The Henkel Group operates in three strategic business areas - Home Care, Personal Care, and Adhesives, Sealants and Surface Treatment. In fiscal 2004 the Henkel Group generated sales of 10.592 billion euros. More than 50,000 employees work for the Henkel Group worldwide. People in 125 countries around the world trust in brands and technologies from Henkel.