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Punch’s New Solar Car Uses Plexus Methacrylate Adhesives

Published on 2017-08-11. Author : SpecialChem

The Belgian Solar Team has presented its new solar car. The 21 KU Leuven engineering students, together with 140 partners, Punch being the lead partner has worked on it for over a year. The car is lighter, smaller than and just as fast as its predecessor.

New Solar Car

ITW Engineered Polymers has been a small part of the process by supplying Plexus adhesive materials to the team. During construction, various complications required specialized adhesive products to make the construction as efficient as possible and ensure an optimized result.

Production responsible, Lander Hollevoet, explained one of the issues:

“To make the structure of the car strong and stiff enough, we have to add reinforcing ribs. In the past, these ribs were laminated into the carbon structure of the car. This made applying the vacuüm extremely complex and time consuming. To make the production process simpler, we produced the ribs separately and then used Plexus adhesives to integrate the ribs inside our solar car. To glue the ribs to the structure of our car, the good gap filling of the plexus adhesives is a very useful property when compared to other adhesives. This is important as all the ribs are hand-made and it is very difficult to make the ribs fit exactly in the car.”

2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

The team now successfully presented a fully functioning and streamlined solar powered car and is ready to begin preparations for the upcoming 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.

The products used for this project were MA830 and MA832.

Plexus MA830 & MA832

  • The products are two-part methacrylate adhesive designed for structural bonding of metals without primers. 
  • The products do a superb job of bonding thermoplastic and composite assemblies with little or no surface preparation.

Challenges to Win 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

To win the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge - the world championship for solar cars:

  • The car must be as energy efficient as possible. Thus, the car must be as small and lightweight as possible, as wind resistance and weight are two of the main energy loss factors.
  • However, the car must still be robust and able to contain all necessary components. 
  • This sums up the main challenges for all teams participating in the world championship.

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Source: ITW Engineered Polymers
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