Adhesives are quickly becoming the preferred bonding method for the automobile industry by enabling smaller, lighter, and stronger assemblies. With the rapid development of new composites and polymers and the need to bond materials with different rates of thermal expansion and surface-free energy (SFE), adhesives are fast becoming the preferred technology to solve complex problems and provide innovative solutions.
Cut-to-size layered adhesive films from 3M, for instance, are being used by designers to create custom parts to not only create aesthetically pleasing looks but also cut assembly times, thin out parts, and reduce overall weight.
An innovation from Fabrico allows foam blocks designed to help reduce noise and vibration to be bonded to metal parts by using laminated film. The first adhesive layer bonds to metal and a layer of aluminium foil, and a second layer of film bonds to the foil and the foam block.
Apart from requiring versatility in developing adhesives for new materials, the automotive industry also needs adhesives that will perform under a range of temperature conditions, tolerating exposure to fuel and oil. Label adhesives, for example, must be durable enough to maintain a bond under harsh conditions. In addition, foam tapes can be used to attach elements such as trim, reducing the need to drill holes in bodywork and applying rust-proofing, and providing a neater finish.