06/14/2005, Düsseldorf


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Name Simone Gleumes
  Corporate Communications, Brand Communications
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Team McLaren Mercedes Sets Its Sights on the Grand Prix Lead with Henkel / Henkel Keeps Team McLaren Mercedes MP4-20 in Top Form for Indianapolis

Flying high with three decisive wins this Formula One season, Team McLaren Mercedes is excelling under regulation changes affecting cars' aerodynamics and demanding greater endurance of all components. The currently second-ranked team in the 2005 Formula One Constructors' World Championship is using Henkel products throughout its MP4-20 to achieve the perfect fusion of strength and lightness, speed and reliability.
This weekend, the Team McLaren Mercedes MP4-20 steers onto the most long-lived racetrack in the United States, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, fortified with the most time-tested high-performance products in the automotive and aerospace industries. Rocketing at speeds exceeding 200 miles per hour and subjected to continual forces of torque and strain, the MP4-20 is in essence a supersonic jet on wheels, relying heavily upon the same technologies from Henkel used in the production of modern aircraft from military fighter planes to the Airbus 380 super jumbo.

"This year's regulations are posing new challenges to engineers and drivers and new demands on all car components," said Martin Whitmarsh, CEO, Formula One, Team McLaren Mercedes. "Reliable partners like Henkel keep Team McLaren Mercedes on the cutting edge of innovation to adapt to Formula One's constant changes. Henkel's high-performance products are integral to our design and engineering processes, and its technicians help us determine the technologies and products best-suited to the temperatures and pressures that racing puts on the chassis and running parts."

Aerospace Innovation in Formula One
The MP4-20 is delivering excellent performance under newly mandated aerodynamic changes to the bodywork, such as a higher nose and front wing section and the bringing forward of the rear wing structure. Light-weight, high-strength Henkel products are used throughout the car's precisely moulded bodywork, adding aerodynamic efficiency and stiffness without adding weight - a key design consideration for Formula One racing machines as well as for today's jet aircraft. The main difference being that airplane wings are designed to give airlift whereas, inverted on the Formula One car, they provide down-force to enhance traction and manoeuvrability.

The 'monocoque,' or unibody, structure of the MP4-20 is essentially the same as the fuselage of a modern plane. Both are built of carbon-fibre composite materials that are twice the strength of steel and five times lighter, yet more capable of withstanding stress, strain and the extreme heat of the engine. Using carbon fibre and Henkel's structural adhesives in the bodywork provide aerospace and Formula One engineers the freedom they need in designing and moulding aerodynamic shapes that would not be possible using metal and rivets.

Casting the Perfect Racing Machine
Before the MP4-20 is deployed on the race track, Henkel's contribution as Official Supplier to Team McLaren Mercedes begins with the manufacturing of moulds used to create moulded components made of composite materials. Because more than 80 percent of the MP4-20 is made of light-weight composite materials, Henkel products play a key role in production. Moulds are first cleaned with Frekote PMC Universal Mould Cleaner, then sealed with Frekote B-15 to ensure that they are free of "pin holes" - thus avoiding imperfections in the car's surface that could negatively affect airflow on the race track.

Like greasing a baking tin before pouring in the cake batter, the mould is then coated with Frekote, the world's first non-transferring mould release agent. This 'clever' material bonds to the mould without transferring itself to the component, ensuring easy release of the part and enabling its immediate painting or bonding. In addition to simplifying and saving time in automotive and aerospace manufacturing processes, Frekote enables moulds to be reused many times. These are crucial factors for Team McLaren Mercedes, which creates eight to ten chassis each season and can get up to 70 pulls from a single mould with perfect results each time.

Getting in Top Form for Racing Success
In creating the MP4-20's nose cone and front wing, the team uses Hysol EA9686 film adhesive 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 resistance to the extreme conditions to which Formula One cars are subjected on the race track. This same product is used in making high-performance road car bodies more robust and is one of several Henkel brands listed in more than 5,000 aerospace specifications.

"We are proud to be contributing to the team's winning streak with our broad product range, specific application knowledge and technical expertise," said Heinrich Gruen, senior vice president, Henkel Technologies. "Henkel is well known in the automotive and aerospace industries as the market-leading provider of adhesives, sealants and surface treatments. Henkel products have a proven track record in aerospace applications and in making today's road vehicles safer, more comfortable and longer lasting. Team McLaren Mercedes is applying these innovations with great success, providing inspiration for new ideas and a springboard for continuous product improvements."