In recent years, weight saving has grown into a major trend in the automotive and aerospace sectors. As such, one of the main areas manufacturers are continuously exploring is how to make their vehicles and aircrafts lighter.
Whereas in the consumers’ eyes, this may seem like a competition for speed, it’s much more than that. In addition to enhancing performance, weight savings also helps improve energy savings and reduces carbon emissions, making such industries more environmentally friendly.
As manufacturers continue to test out different approaches to making vehicles lighter, adhesive coatings have become a popular solution. As a result, the industry has been experiencing steady growth in recent years.
As a whole, the adhesives and sealants market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.8% till 2025. This will see the market value rise from $63 billion to $80 billion. However, the demand from the aerospace and automotive sectors is outpacing the demand from others.
As a vehicle manufacturer, adhesives may be the ideal solution for developing better performing, fuel-efficient, and environment-friendly vehicles. However, it’s not just about using adhesive coatings but using the ones that meet your unique needs.
In this article, you will learn more about:
- Custom Adhesive Coatings in the Automotive Industry
- Why you Should Be Using Custom Adhesive Coatings
- How to Choose the Right Ones.
Origins of Adhesive Use in the Automotive Industry
Although it may seem like adhesives are a novel idea, the concept has been around for millennia. It can be traced, at a basic level, to early homo sapiens in craft and tool making. In addition, its use is evident in many regions of the world, ranging from binding and preserving mummies around 2,000 B.C and preserving cave paintings in South Africa 70,000 years ago.
Over the years, adhesive mixtures have evolved from simple plant-based one ingredient products to complex multi-ingredient ones. In the automotive sector, it is the need for an ideal way to bond rubber shock mounts to metal parts in the early 20th century that sparked the manufacture of adhesives for automotive.
Since then, through innovation and refinement, there are a lot of adhesives available for use in automotive and aircraft manufacture.
Applications of Adhesives in the Automotive Sector
As the quality and the manufacturing process improve, the applications of adhesives in the automotive industry are increasing. They help join disparate parts allowing vehicles and aircrafts to become lighter, quieter, and safer.
Due to the improvements and efficiency custom adhesive coatings offer, they are quickly replacing conventional methods such as riveting, bolting, and welding. Along with increasing safety and efficiency, using adhesives also simplifies many areas of production and reduces costs.
These days, the use of custom adhesive coatings is common in the manufacture of body components, gearboxes, engines, and mounted parts such as steering wheels, seats, and side-view mirrors.
Types of Adhesives and Sealants
There are two basic types of adhesives in the automotive sector, each being more effective in different applications. These are epoxy adhesives and anaerobic adhesives.
However, there are also additional subcategories of adhesives and sealants such as:
- Acrylic-based anaerobic adhesives
- Urethane-based anaerobic adhesives
- Epoxy-based anaerobic adhesives
1. Anaerobic Adhesives
As you may well know, to build a strong and reliable vehicle, some areas will need hard metals, which may be challenging to bond. This is where anaerobic adhesives and sealants come into play. They contain monomer elements and are a strong and reliable bonding agent for hard metals.
One of the key benefits of anaerobic adhesives is that they are resistant to chemical substances such as hydraulic fuels, oils, and fuel. As a result, you can use them to tighten and seal gaskets and fasteners and even to bond electrical components.
2. Epoxy Adhesives
As the name suggests, these are adhesives that contain epoxy. Also known as Epichlorohydrin, epoxy produces a hard layer after curing. Compared to other kinds of materials, epoxy can form strong and durable bonds. This is why epoxy-based adhesives feature significantly in car and truck manufacturing.
Due to the hard layer that forms after epoxy adhesives and sealants cure, they are highly resistant to humidity, moisture, and high and low temperatures.
Choosing the Right Custom Adhesive
Design, speed, and other features often dominate discussions about cars. However, for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), it’s durability and safety that matter most.
In the day-to-day use of a car, it will have to withstand constant vibrations, minor and major impacts, and thermal fluctuations that cause the expansion and contraction of materials. Therefore, in your efforts to use adhesives to make vehicles lighter and more efficient, it’s vital that they can withstand such conditions.
For this, you must use high-quality custom adhesives and make sure you match them with the ideal application.
To choose the right adhesive coating, consider the following:
1. The Components Being Joined Together
Even with the best adhesives, your car will not be robust enough if you do not use them correctly. Different adhesives offer varying levels of strength, durability, and elasticity, making them suitable for joining different components.
As such, with a reliable custom-adhesive provider in place, begin by determining the components you want to join.
2. Performance Requirements
Now that you know which components you want to join, consider the performance requirements after joining them. For example, consider whether the components will move a lot or the level of stress they are likely to face. This will give you a clear picture of the strength and level of elasticity you need from your custom adhesive coating.
Moreover, you should also consider whether:
- The components will be exposed to environmental elements
- The adhesive will be exposed to heat or chemical fluids in the engine
- The amount of time you want the adhesive to serve as a bonding agent
3. Process Parameters and Constraints
Depending on the type of adhesive, the process of applying it will vary. Therefore, you should also consider the constraints that come with each adhesive to determine if it’s ideal for that particular use.
It All Starts with Your Custom Adhesive Provider
As an OEM, your customers trust that you have taken all the necessary steps to ensure your products are safe. Any failure to do so will tarnish your brand’s reputation and expose you to unnecessary liabilities. The first step in avoiding all this is to choose the right custom adhesive provider.
Lamart Corporation is a company committed to offering the best adhesive solutions for industries like automotive and aerospace. Contact us today for custom adhesive solutions that will help reduce your costs and deliver better products to the market.