07/15/2005, Düsseldorf

 

 
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Team McLaren Mercedes MP4-20 and Mobil 1 German Grand Prix Trophy Share Common Bond / Team McLaren Mercedes Strives for Prize Held by Henkel in Hockenheim

With the exception of its logo on the MP4-20's rear wing end-plate, Henkel's contribution to Team McLaren Mercedes' success goes largely unseen by racing fans. But Henkel's diverse products hold strong in more than 100 places on the car, its presence for the team extending from the drawing board to the chequered flag. And for the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix, the 'ghost in the machine' is already on the winner's podium: as the invisible bonds that hold together the race trophy.
To win Hockenheim's Mobil Pegasus Trophy - provided by ExxonMobil, title sponsor of the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim for the past 14 years - Team McLaren Mercedes' MP4-20 will have to deliver top performance on of one of Formula One's most punishing circuits. With its full-throttle stretches, numerous overtaking opportunities and unpredictable weather conditions, the German Grand Prix is a highly charged event. Rounding turn 12 at around 205 km/h into the tightly-curved stadium section, drivers can even hear the roar of the crowd above the blaring engines. In addition to revved-up Formula One fans, racing in Germany is marked by circuits that exert "Sturm und Drang" on a race car's engine and suspension, subjecting components to extreme strains, jolts and vibrations.

"At Hockenheim, the car's components need to be able to withstand continuously extreme forces, repeated mechanical shocks and vibrations - failure of any part at any time is not an option," said Martin Whitmarsh, CEO, Formula One, Team McLaren Mercedes. "Henkel's diverse product line gives our engineers great flexibility in design and production, offering just the right products to enable innovative new set-ups and clever workarounds to design challenges. Henkel solutions have always delivered a track record of flawless execution for the team."

The Invisible Force Within That the Team Can't Do Without
Although out of sight to Formula One audiences, Henkel products play a strong role in helping the Team McLaren Mercedes MP4-20 achieve peak performance in speed, reliability and endurance. A broad range of adhesives with different chemistries are needed to cover the diversity of constraints in securing everything from threaded bolts to wiring. Already in the design phase, engineers at McLaren Racing consult with Henkel to determine which products are best suited to meet the distinct demands of any particular application.

Like the various circuit conditions affecting the car's set-up, there are a number of differing factors determining which adhesive is applied. Some metal-on-metal applications, such as securing bolted connections throughout the gearbox assembly, require adhesives that hold tight at high temperatures. Here, Loctite 2701 is used, preventing loosening from vibrations and providing maximum resistance to hot oil.

Elsewhere, other factors are at play. Loctite 406 is ideal for bonding the aluminium end fittings to the nylon of the fuel collector pump. This adhesive is specially formulated for difficult to bond materials and is particularly suitable for plastic parts on which the bond needs to 'cure,' or harden, very quickly - within five seconds. Another instant adhesive, Loctite 420, is used to bond plastic parts to the rear wing on the one-third scale model of the car used in wind tunnel testing. This low viscosity adhesive quickly wicks between the parts so as to leave no excess outside the joint, which would affect the airflow during testing.

Loctite 480 instant adhesive provides the optimal solution to bond the cable tie pads that retain kilometres of electric wiring and cables to the inside of the MP4-20's chassis. This rubber-toughened adhesive exhibits outstanding peel resistance and excellent strength to withstand intense vibrations .

Stealthily Stuck on the Hockenheim Trophy
Another truly invisible Henkel product is Loctite 350, used on the Mobil Pegasus Trophy. This adhesive bonds the wings of the trophy's Pegasus horse to the Irish crystal sculpted body. When cured under ultra-violet light, the bond lines of this adhesive magically disappear. This makes it ideal for numerous applications on glass and crystal in markets as diverse as consumer goods - for example, in the transparent bond lines for modern glass furniture - and medical devices, in which an entire family of adhesives covers applications from glass assemblies in optical instruments to bonding glass syringes to metal needles.

"With the Team McLaren Mercedes partnership, we've taken a Formula One commitment that began with the Loctite brand to new heights, delivering innovative solutions and peak performance in the ultimate motor sports proving ground," said Heinrich Gruen, senior vice president, Henkel Technologies. "The team now benefits from a wide range of Henkel products and technologies used in thousands of industrial applications. Although Henkel products may not be visible, they make their presence known by making everyday life easier for millions of people all over the world."

Loctite - Strong Performance Throughout Its Evolution
Today a staple of Formula One racing and diverse industrial applications, the Loctite brand has a long history of holding its own in the toughest of conditions - including the "Henry Test." After Loctite had been established as the product to use for thread-locking, product developers pioneered its use in bonding flat surfaces - a revolutionary concept at first met with scepticism during their visits to potential customers. One such sceptic, a golf club maker's chief engineer, tried out Loctite to bond a wooden club head to the club's steel shaft. He then announced it was time for the "Henry Test." Thinking "Henry" as in "Ford," or perhaps some great inventor, the visitors were all the more surprised when their host led them out back and called over a brawny employee named Henry, who proceeded to smash the club with all his might against a brick smokestack. The club's wood, of course, split into pieces - but the Loctite bond held.

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 FIA 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.