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High-Performance Adhesives Dominate Automotive Engineering

Published on 2006-12-13. Author : SpecialChem

A friendly robot sprays adhesive on the interior of the windshield of the truck. Minutes later, this major glass component, weighing between 40 and 60 kilograms, is firmly bonded to the coated body of the vehicle, protecting the driver's cab from wind. And a few hours later, the freight forwarding contractor can take possession of his new vehicle.

Adhesive bonded joints are being increasingly used in the automotive industry in both trucks and passenger cars, and in the body as well as add-on parts. Rapid advances in robotics as well as modern high-performance adhesives play an important role here. "Structural bonding" is the technical term for this technology, which is rapidly gaining ground for important automotive components-under the hood, in the roof, and on the doors. The lengths to be bonded in top- and mid-range passenger cars can now sometimes be three times longer than was the case just a few years ago. Not infrequently, this results in improved vehicle stability and crash safety, and it also makes weight savings possible.

"Today, it's no longer a problem to bond steel, metal, glass, or coating surfaces to other functional materials," says Degussa manager Dr. Gerrit Schneider, who is responsible for marketing organofunctional silanes in adhesives and sealants. Only these silanes-admixed into the basic adhesive supplied by a producer-allow rapid and reliable bonding as well as the desired long-term stability. "In the absence of silanes, development of high-performance adhesives would hardly have been possible. Only silanes allow technically labor-intensive processes such as screwing, welding and riveting to be dispensed with," says Dr. Schneider.

These "adhesives in adhesives" require the most careful handling. Even incorrect storage or transportation of silanes can adversely affect the subsequent properties of the adhesive, and in some cases may lead to serious problems in the bonded product. Additionally Dynasylan® specialty silanes from Degussa protect adhesives and sealants from excessively high atmospheric humidity. And during transport of the bonded, but not cured, joints, they ensure full bonding performance. The more than 150 different organofunctional silanes produced by the company are therefore suitable for use wherever very high adhesive strength must be ensured within a short time. In truck windshields this is possible in just 15 to 30 minutes.

Degussa has been active in the research, production, and application of organofunctional silanes for more than 70 years. More than 700 patents in the field testify to the expertise in this area of the world's leading specialty chemicals group. Apart from their application in adhesives and sealants, Dynasylan® products are used in coatings, plastics, and cables, on glass fibers and glass fabrics, and even in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals.

In the area of adhesives and sealants alone, they are used in such widely varying capacities as adhesion promoters (adhesion), crosslinking (cohesion), drying, reinforcement, and "endcapping" (additional selective reaction steps). The Degussa silanes are also dehydrating agents, co-monomers, binders, and reaction partners. The most important considerations in their manufacture and use are compatibility, conservation of resources, and sustainable development. Dynasylan® products therefore comply with the regulations of the chemical industry's Responsible Care initiative.

Degussa's Aerosil & Silanes Business Unit employs about 1,900 employees worldwide at nine sites in Europe, the U.S., and Asia. Degussa Silanes are marketed globally for adhesives and sealants applications. The well-known brand Dynasylan® is one of the leading brands in the adhesives industry with more than 50 years of experience.

Degussa-a wholly owned subsidiary of the RAG Group-is the global market leader in specialty chemicals. Our business is creating essentials-innovative products and system solutions that make indispensable contributions to our customers' success. In fiscal 2005 around 44,000 employees worldwide generated sales of 11.8 billion euros and operating profits (EBIT) of 940 million euros.

Source: Degussa


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