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North American International Auto Show 2016: The Future is Now, and Adhesives are Making it Happen

Posted By ASC, Tuesday, February 2, 2016



Contributed by Marc Benevento


An air of excitement prevailed at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS, aka, the Detroit Auto Show), fueled by a dichotomy of driving forces. Pending regulation on greenhouse gas emissions has generated interest in fuel saving technologies such as turbo charging, advanced transmissions, and lightweight materials. However, the current, sky-high rate vehicle sales, coupled with low gasoline prices, had OEMs showing powerful performance coupes and sedans featuring an array of advanced materials and electronics. Despite these driving forces coming from somewhat different directions, they are pushing the industry toward an interesting new mix of materials that will require more structural adhesives in production and service than ever before.


Steel continues to be the most common material of construction in light vehicles, and the vast majority of vehicles on display at the auto show had steel-intensive designs. The Steel Market Development Institute demonstrated innovative uses of high and ultra-high strength steel that have helped manufacturers reach their weight, safety, and performance targets in passenger cars and light trucks. Vehicle bodies on display (photo 1) were color coded to show where different grades of high strength steels had been applied to reduce weight.


A challenge faced by design engineers is that, as the thickness of steel is reduced to save weight, stiffness may decrease proportionally. Strategically applied structural adhesives, in conjunction with spot welds, supplement strength and stiffness, improve vehicle dynamics and safety, and also reduce the amount of road and engine noise that reaches the passenger compartment. Therefore, an abundance of adhesives and sealants was observed in the high strength steel vehicle bodies on display... Read More (see photos)



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