By Vince Todd, Jr., Vice President
In an effort to build lighter, more fuel-efficient cars, automotive manufacturers are turning to aluminum to achieve a 50+ mile per gallon (MPG) fuel economy target. While aluminum companies have long pushed for their metal to replace steel in vehicle manufacturing, one of the biggest obstacles has been how well aluminum parts stick to the rest of the car. In a quest to remedy the situation, aluminum companies are developing new adhesive technologies that can be applied in mass production. These changes will open the door for other industries to introduce aluminum in high-volume production lines. The following three articles detail how innovations in aluminum adhesive technologies are changing the automotive industry:
Aluminum Gains Big Momentum: New Report Confirms Strong, Low Weight Materials as Best Way to Reach 50+ MPG as Automakers Tout the Metal
The Aluminum Association released this article detailing key findings of a study that analyzed methods for improving fuel efficiencies. The study showed that increasing the use of aluminum, combined with other efficiency-improving technologies, is the most consistent overall strategy for reaching the target MPG.
Alcoa Technology Licensed to Chemetall
Alcoa, the world leader in the production of aluminum, announced it is licensing a pre-treatment bonding technology to Chemetall, a global supplier of pre-treatments to the automotive industry. The Alcoa 951 bonding technology enables adhesive bonding of automotive structures that can be used for mass production to help make aluminum-intensive vehicles become a reality. This Zacks.com article explains how the partnership will lead to significant reductions in fuel consumption.
Henkel introduces new pretreatment process to accommodate increase of aluminum in vehicle manufacturing
Alcoa is not the only company pushing the innovation envelope for aluminum adhesive technologies. In this press release, The Henkel Corporation announced the debut of its BONDERITE® Flex Process technology, used on the 2013 Ford F-150, which allowed a significant increase in aluminum content on the vehicle.
Advances in aluminum adhesive technologies are on the upturn. While this seems to be driven by the automotive industry, other industries will benefit from the ability to apply aluminum adhesives in high-volume applications, signaling a game changer for companies positioned to take advantage of new technologies.
Contact me at 317-879-2055 to learn how advances in aluminum adhesive technologies could benefit your company.