Addressing industry's challenges

4 min read

A number of developments from adhesives leader Henkel are offering a range of new solutions for industry.

Henkel Adhesive Technologies has launched Loctite AA 5885, a new one component polyacrylate cured in place gasketing product designed to protect sensitive electrical components.

Thanks to rapid UV curing in under 30 seconds, Loctite AA 5885 allows automotive electronics customers to expedite gasketing and increase production efficiency. The solution enables a significant reduction of the ecological and production footprint by decreasing physical production space and energy consumption. It also offers an optimal combination of structure and softness, delivering lasting durability even when exposed to high pressure water spray, automotive fluids or the high temperatures of the under-hood environment. The new adhesive has been designed for applications including electronic control unit (ECU) module housings, battery packs, engine and transmission control modules, fuse boxes, actuators, sensing systems, ADAS control Modules, as well as other electronic components. It provides excellent adhesion to metals and most plastics.

As the sophistication and complexity of electronics constantly increases in modern vehicles, protecting electronic components from the rigors of automotive applications becomes even more critical. This is especially important as electronic systems account for greater degree of safety critical systems, with a study by Roland Berger assuming that the cost share of electronic components in relation to the total cost of a car will constantly grow further to 35% by 2025. Loctite AA 5885 was developed by Henkel in collaboration with its automotive customers to offer a more reliable and cost-effective gasketing option to traditional heat-cured silicone.

“With the proliferation of mission-critical electrical systems, automotive customers are seeking ways to minimize the costs of manufacturing while also delivering greater lifetime performance and reliability,” said Jeff Koehler, Business Development Manager at Henkel Adhesive Technologies. “For example, one of our customers was experiencing unacceptable levels of seal failures, deflection and deformation in the past. We worked with him to develop a tailored solution that provided a softer seal capable of meeting his seal force goals. This challenge was met by Henkel chemists with Loctite AA 5885, which also fulfils all necessary automotive reliability requirements.”

Loctite AA 5885 is a one-part polyacrylate gasket that can be cured within 30 seconds and compressed in assembly immediately after application to help minimize manufacturer cycle times. The uncured liquid has unique flow properties that permit efficient and repeatable pumpability onto parts with complex shapes and geometries. Once dispensed, its rapid viscoelastic recovery permits high aspect ratio beads to be preserved through curing. Thanks to its UV-active chemistry, curing can be accomplished within seconds in a continuous mode without the high energy consumption of ovens required by other solutions on the market for similar applications. Furthermore, parts can be assembled immediately after cooling. Critically, compressive forces are maintained over a broad deflection range, maintaining seal performance at extreme temperatures (-40 to 150°C), while the material is soft enough to increase tooling tolerances without overstressing the part in any environment.

Automakers strive to keep up with the demand for new and more efficient transport systems across the world. Delivering new technologies at a competitive cost is a determining challenge faced by every manufacturer. The advent of Loctite AA 5885 helps alleviate these challenges by allowing manufactures to minimize floor space, reduce cycle times, and not compromise on product quality and safety.

Also from Henkel’s extensive Loctite Instant Component Bonding range has a new best-in-class instant adhesive product for the assembly of small components in high-speed production applications as well as quick, on-the-go repairs. This new addition is Loctite 402, an instant, high strength adhesive whose features and benefits are designed to help address industry challenges such as: productivity, reliability and design diversification.

The Loctite Instant Component Bonding range addresses many of the design and assembly challenges faced by manufacturers in their quest to pioneer new products that are innovative, reliable and profitable.  Loctite 402 builds on this foundation with even faster fixture speed, superior heat performance and a unique, patented formula with upgraded health and safety credentials (formulated without the addition of traditional stabilisers such as HQ and MMBP). So, how do features of the Loctite 402 translate to benefits in modern manufacturing?

As Loctite 402 develops handling strength twice as fast on most substrates by comparison with selected other assembly solutions (3 – 10 seconds), it provides an elevated level of performance that meets the demands of modern manufacturing. This fast fixture speed, achieved at room temperature, helps increase throughput and reduces work-in-progress (WIP) for both manual and automated assembly.  Productivity can be increased further with a comprehensive range of Loctite manual, semi-automated to fully automated dispensing equipment that is easily integrated into most production lines.

Loctite 402 is a single-component instant adhesive that bonds most metals, plastics and elastomers as well as hard-to-bond materials with the use of a primer. It gives users a single solution for multiple materials and components which helps reduce assembly costs, process complexity and WIP. With ever-growing demand for more feature-rich yet smaller components in end-markets such as urban mobility, home automation and power tools, Loctite 402 helps manufacturers to have more options on aesthetics, performance and design.

Even in extreme conditions, Loctite 402 delivers more reliable performance compared to many traditional instant adhesives. It demonstrates strength retention on most metals up to 135°C - both tested at temperature ("hot strength") and room temperature ("heat aging") - a big benefit, for example for end-products whose power supply and connectivity generate a lot of heat. Improved impact resistance is another feature of this adhesive compared with traditional instant adhesives.

Loctite 402 also sets an important new health and safety milestone for instant adhesives. Its patented formula contains alternative raw materials that support the enhancement of worker and workplace safety.  Several instant adhesive ingredients have come under greater regulatory scrutiny in select regions of the world. Two of these are hydroquinone (HQ) and 2.2’-methylenebis (4-methyl-6-tert-butylphenol) – also known as MMBP - whose primary role is to ensure the adhesive remains liquid in the bottle for the duration of its shelf life.