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Stuck on structural adhesives

  • Magazine Article
  • 19AUTP09_02
Published September 01, 2019 by SAE International in United States
  • English

As the need for lighter materials and enhanced body performance intensifies, structural adhesives flourish as a materials-joining solution.

A funny thing happened on the way to the total-vehicle light-weighting that's now a common engineering dictate for nearly every new vehicle: structural adhesives-which entered low-volume automotive use in the 1980s-got pulled into the mainstream.

The widening reliance on high- and ultrahigh-strength steels and aluminum for body structures, particularly unitized bodies-in-white (BIW), to cut weight without sacrificing crash-mitigating strength or handling-degrading rigidity, is the prime factor driving the expanding use of structural adhesives. Particularly where dissimilar materials need to be joined, engineered adhesives are the way to go-alone or in tandem with more-conventional joining technologies such as riveting and spot-welding.