Adhesive Bonding Key to VW 3D Printed Metallic Parts

Posted on 7/15/2021 1:10:20 PM By ASC

Volkswagen, which plans to raise the levels of its 3D metal printing automotive parts production to 100,000 a year by 2025, has submitted it’s first components made using the adhesive binder jetting process for certification at Osnabrück.

According to the company, the components for the A pillar of the T-Roc convertible, which were made using the adhesive binder method as opposed to fusing layers of metallic powder with a laser, are half the weight of similar components made from steel sheet.

The company says that the adhesive binder jetting technology, which it has been scaling up for the past 5 years, is faster than the laser fusing method which fuses layers of metallic powder. It also differs in that it makes use of a printhead to deposit a liquid adhesive over the powder layer. The adhesive is then cured and solidifies quickly, after which new layers of metal powder are added, followed by additional adhesive bonding layers.

Volkswagen reports that, while traditional sheet metal stamping and machining methods would continue to be used when producing automotive parts that required extra strength, 3D printing, besides offering lighter weight and faster production, allowed for the production of different parts in the same workspace simply by changing computer programs. This lead to conservation of floor space and also removed the need for new dies to be made in order to stamp parts.