Carbon fiber components are changing the way cars are manufactured as the adhesives industry comes up with bonding solutions that make engineering ideas workable. Injection bonding of composite adhesives allows manufacturers to insert carbon fiber parts as inlays in the metal housing that runs along the A-pillar and down the D pillar. This increases occupant safety during side-on collisions or if the car were to roll. It also improves the torsional stiffness of the vehicle, improving vehicle handling.
Because carbon fiber and metal have different Coefficients of Linear Thermal Expansion (CLTE), adhesives such as DowAutomotive’s BETAFORCE, with its high elongation factor and modulus provide sufficient stiffness while still being flexible enough to tolerate differing CLTE. In order to bond carbon fiber inlays to metal, a robot injects the adhesive, surrounding the carbon fiber. Dow is currently assisting BMW with its lightweighting efforts and says that it develops products and techniques according to its clients’ requirements.