Automotive Adhesives Enable Innovations in Automotive Design and Electric Vehicle Advancements

Posted on 11/10/2021 8:06:36 AM By ASC

Automotive adhesives are far more than just replacements for mechanical fasteners such as nuts and bolts, rivets, and welds. Adhesive manufacturers are changing their products (including tapes and films) in order to meet the new requirements of EV production and modern automotive assembly. Meanwhile automotive manufacturers are increasingly recognizing the benefits of reduced vehicle weight; lower vibration levels; an alternative to paint; broad stress distribution; lack of metal distortion; less panel corrosion and longer life rigidity, and better bonding of dissimilar materials, along with reduced costs and faster assembly.

Adhesive bonds are more stable and rigid than mechanical fasteners, and cut down significantly the noise (squeal), vibration, and harshness (NVH) created by fasteners which impact on comfort levels, as well as other vibration-related design problems such as the buzzing noises emitted by lightweight plastic parts.

Structural adhesives distribute both the weight and stress loads over the full bond surface area, unlike fasteners which carry these loads dotted along the surface. This enables adhesives to lighten the weight; produce a stronger, more rigid, and better lasting bond; strengthen seals; and reduce the likelihood of metal distortion, warping, buckling, and rust, all of which start at fastener points. They also protect panels from punctures or welding lumps which can mar the appearance of the vehicle and lead to corrosion.

Many liquid automotive adhesives have been replaced with pressure sensitive single and double-sided adhesive tapes that provide immediate adhesion and holding strength. Cuttable to match the shape and size of parts for the best bond and offering faster (or no) cure, the tapes are easily and accurately applied without metering and mixing, and with very little (or no) mess left behind. Double-sided tapes also allow for separate layers to be used when substrates are dissimilar.

PSAs also offer an alternative to the space gobbling and messy painting process with adhesive paint replacement films which are easier, faster to apply, cleaner, and don’t need special equipment or a separate area for application. Adhesive films can also be used to protect painted areas of the vehicle body from damage caused by scratches and chips which can lead to rust as well as hard-to-paint areas such as door pillars and sashes and for not only mounting but replacing inside and outside trim and emblems.