Aug 5, 2016  Düsseldorf / Germany

Adhesives at the major sporting event of the summer

The glue that bonds stadiums and footwear

You’ll find adhesives in more places in the world of sports than in sticker albums. During the sporting mega-event at Sugarloaf Mountain, a wide range of different adhesives will be hard at work in almost every situation – including in places that might initially surprise you. During the hunt for medals, adhesives will help to hold everything together and keep it working as it should. Headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany, Henkel is the world’s largest manufacturer of adhesives.

Numerous different adhesives are employed in the manufacture of sports footwear

Numerous different adhesives are employed in the manufacture of sports footwear designed to meet athletes’ special requirements.

Top performance during the tournament is expected not only of the athletes but of adhesives as well; for example, in the balls and footwear used in volleyball or handball competitions. Nowadays, balls are mostly thermally bonded rather than sewn. Adhesive-bonded seams, for example, guarantee maximum water impermeability, ensuring that the ball maintains its properties even in wet conditions.

Adhesives in sports footwear

The specialist shoes used by the athletes are also largely bonded with adhesives these days. Henkel supplies numerous major sports footwear producers. Sports shoes are designed to withstand heavy stresses and, therefore, pose a real endurance test to every bond. They also need to be light to ensure that athletes do not expend unnecessary energy, and as such, are faster and more agile. Henkel adhesives are used in every stage of the production process: in the manufacture of the shoe upper material, which usually comprises several layers of different fabrics bonded together, in the fixing of the tongue, eyes, toecaps, heel reinforcement and cushioning insoles, and for bonding the outer soles to the uppers.

Modern sports equipment manufactured from plastics or composite materials

Sports equipment made from plastics or composite materials needs to be light and resistant. Boat hulls and surf boards also have to be particularly smooth so that they can glide resistance-free through the water. These are manufactured in special molds. Mold sealers and release agents from Henkel are used around the world for numerous applications. Applied to the mold, they form extremely thin, temperature-resistant coatings that become chemically interlinked with the mold surface, thus sealing even the smallest porosities and ensuring that the end product is exceptionally smooth.

Building adhesives in the stadiums and for the team bus

Building adhesives and other materials from Henkel are used in many stadiums around the world. Temperature- and UV-resistant adhesive films ensure that the buses that carry the different national teams can be individually designed with their own livery, logos and flags. Pressure-sensitive adhesives that can be applied very thinly on the relevant substrates such as plastic films are a major component in coach and bus design. Interestingly, adhesives serve not only to adorn the coachwork but also to manufacture the bus itself. For they are increasingly replacing conventional techniques such as welding, riveting or bolting. Aside from offering enhanced safety, they also simplify many processes and make the vehicle lighter.