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FASTENINGS & ADHESIVES FEATURE The driving force behind bonding

The features offered by today’s structural adhesives are resulting in their growing adoption within the transportation industries for applications on the road and on rail


evelopments in the world of adhesives have resulted in their

growing use within the transportation industries. Such products as Araldite structural adhesives from Huntsman Advanced Materials, for example, are increasingly being used here, with two of its most recent applications being in the development of a prototype sportscar as well as use in the rail industry.

PROTOTYPING CARS In fact, a combination of Araldite adhesives were selected by Norma Auto Concept Engineering for the rear wing on the M20 FC prototype sportscar. For the car, Araldite 2048, an epoxy adhesive, was used to assemble the wing’s aluminium pieces. In addition, the methacrylate adhesive Araldite 2031 was used to join the composite components together and to the aluminium parts. According to the company, the 2031 adhesive provides a resilient bond on the rear wing’s dissimilar materials, delivering structural stability and flexibility as well as gap filling properties. Such benefits help to increase the car’s grip on the track. Araldite 2048, meanwhile, provides high elongation as well as high lap shear strength, helping to enhance the handling performance of the vehicle. An additional benefit of the adhesives here was that no surface preparation was required. At the start of the racing season in

March, the Norma M20 FC brought home the top six places at the 6H Proto at Spain’s Barcelona-Catalunya circuit. In April, it took first place at the FIA European Hill Climb Championship; and then in June it won the recent leg of the FIA Hill Climb in the Czech Republic. Norbert Santos, manager of Norma Auto Concept Engineering, said: “These adhesives fit perfectly with the extremely demanding conditions that are experienced during racing events such as the FIA European Hill Climb Championship. In this category of the sport, where the ongoing innovation in design is critical to ensuring drivers put in excellent performance on the track, structural adhesives are certainly acting as a key enabler.”

BONDING IN THE RAIL INDUSTRY Araldite adhesive are also being used

across Europe’s railways, where considerable emphasis is now being placed on developing rail as a key transport mode. This is reflected in the establishment of the European Commission’s ‘Shift2Rail’ initiative. This new public-private partnership has been set up to invest just under €1 billion in research and innovation to support better rail services and encourage more passengers and freight onto Europe’s railways. Here, adhesives are playing an ever

increasing role. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that adhesives form a continuous bond, providing more uniform stress distribution within a leak proof solution which is also less prone to corrosion. A bonded structure is often cited as a safer structure as the occurrence of fatigue cracks are reduced through the uniform distribution of stress concentration. Bond lines are also frequently described as crack formation stoppers. In addition, as there are no holes,

rivets or fastening elements to weaken structures, adhesives also facilitate the integrity and strength of materials, giving a smooth appearance to designs with improved aesthetics on finished parts and greater design flexibility. For complex assemblies, such as

composite sandwich structures, adhesives are capable of successfully bonding them together. They can also join dissimilar materials together and compensate for differences in the coefficients of thermal expansion, as well as providing an electrically insulating barrier between surfaces, and offer good dampening properties which are useful for reducing sound or vibrations. Huntsman offers four main types of structural adhesives for all segments of the rail market – from high-speed trains, mainline, regional, metro, suburban and freight trains, as well as the infrastructure around them. These are: epoxy adhesives, polyurethanes, methacrylates and phenolic-based adhesive systems. The applications within the industry

are wide. For example, for structural parts such as roofs, doors and floors, and semi-structural products such as floor coverings, seat to floor attachments, door frames and hinges, Araldite AW 4859 /


Adhesives were used for assembly and joining of the rear wing of the M20 FC prototype sportscar

HW 4859 offers the advantages of ease of application, high strength and shock resistance on multi-material assemblies. Araldite 2013 epoxy adhesive,

Adhesive are used for applications throughout the rail industry

meanwhile, is now used to bond GRP driver cabins; while in Germany Araldite 2015 is replacing the welding process used to assemble aluminium substrates on the driver compartments of regional train units. The methacrylate adhesives, such as

Araldite 2021, tend to be used for bonding metal hinges to GRP interior panels and on a range of interior furnishings such as fold tables, luggage racks and ceiling liners. For trackside applications such as signal light boxes, traffic control boxes and rail joint construction and repairs, where electrical insulation, very good weathering, thermal resistance and flame retardancy are essential, Huntsman offers a number of products in its epoxy and methacrylate-based adhesives ranges which are fit for purpose. In addition, Norwegian manufacturers are attaching train detection sensors on the track with Araldite adhesives; Swedish businesses are utilising them to assemble rail shifters; and other countries are using them for rail joint bonding assemblies. With the impetus behind innovation

in the rail sector taking shape, adhesive bonding has started to emerge as the standard in manufacturing parts which deliver superior performance and durability on rolling stock and infrastructure applications, the company explains.

Huntsman Enter 207


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