This week’s Adhesives are Cool spotlight centres around the use of adhesives in the manufacture of cars. From Formula 1 races to the daily commute to work, cars have to withstand huge forces. Every component has an instrumental part to play in ensuring optimum performance; this includes adhesive choice.
All cars have to be built with the job in mind; lightweight, aerodynamic, but still incredibly strong and robust – they have to be able to resist huge forces and impact in the case of accidents.
These forces are measured using G-force, a measure of acceleration. 1G is a constant; it is that which we feel due to gravity. Anytime an object changes its acceleration at a force faster than gravity will be over 1G of force. That feeling you get when you are on a rollercoaster, or even when you go over a hump in the road when at speed in a car, are all symptoms of G-force. Forces over 4G have the potential to knock you out or render you temporarily blind due to the blood and thus oxygen imbalance caused. And yet, the likes of Formula 1 drivers experience over 6Gs when taking on corners during a race. Thus, the likes of fighter pilots and, of course, Formula 1 drivers, train to increase their G-tolerance.
However, it’s not only the drivers that have to withstand the forces acting on them – the cars have to, too! Like in any situation, it is important that you trust the machine you are operating within, be it a car, train, or plane. Adhesives have a variety of uses within the production and maintenance of these cars in order to optimise performance.
A range of adhesives is used depending on the area and function of the part of the car. Different adhesives bond better to different substrates, and also have different properties such as their ability to resist different forces. Structural adhesives such as methacrylates, cyanoacrylates, and epoxies are best used in areas that primarily experience compression and shear. Traditionally two types of Adhesives are used. Epoxies, such as E205 are strong and resist shearing. They are often used to bond carbon fibre, glass-filled nylon, and plastic body panels. However, they are not as flexible as methacrylates, such as our M100, which absorb shock better. Therefore, which one is used is dependent on the required component properties. Methacrylates are also necessary for car production as they provide excellent adhesion to metals, plastics, and composites. Bondchem’s Methacrylates Series offers the ultimate impact, tensile, and peel strengths.
Furthermore, it is important for cars to be lightweight; weight is at the forefront of reducing vehicle emissions. Adhesives are a lightweight alternative to mechanical fasteners; Assembly mag estimated that 100 Kilograms of fasteners can be replaced by just 30 Kilograms of adhesive. For those areas where traditional fasteners are necessary, threadlockers can help them work seamlessly (literally). Once tightened, a threaded fastener stays in place through friction. However, there can be as little as 15 percent metal-to-metal contact in a typical assembly. Threadlockers provide 100 percent contact between the mating components, completely filling the gaps between the interfacing threads. This is especially important in areas where the fastener is exposed to punishing vibrations and rotational forces. Anaerobic adhesives also seal out moisture and prevent corrosion. Thus, they are often found in areas such as the brakes and suspension. Threadlockers are anaerobic adhesives; at Bondchem we offer 32 White Label anaerobic products.
Adhesives can also play an important role once the race gets underway; speed is of the essence in every area of racing, including any repairs. Adhesives are a quick way of fixing any problems that emerge during a race.
In a recent motorsport display in Spain, JBM’s team of service engineers offered on-site support and maintenance for the team’s six Ford Focus RS rally cars. In order to ensure optimum performance, JBM’s team needed to modify the gearboxes: they replaced the standard limited slip differentials with Quaife ATBs before sealing them shut with Bondchem’s AS31 Multigasket.
James Bean, owner and technical director of JBM comments
“Bondchem’s anaerobic range is always the range of choice for our critical applications. Whether it be quick repairs between rally stages, on a set for our stunt production support or for our in-house motorsport tuning and reconditioning this range of products have proven themselves at the top of their field, even when applied trackside in the worst of conditions.”
So, there you have it; another reason to love adhesives! See you next time.