Schwalbach, Germany - The new Aston Martin Rapide sports car uses structural epoxy and PU-based adhesive technology supplied by Dow Automotive Systems to help keep its weight down and performance up.
Dow supplies materials from its Betamate range for applications including body structure and panel bonding, it said in a 2 Dec press release, adding that these materials address the specific manufacturing and performance requirements of the Rapide.
They give the car's body an extremely high structural efficiency, taking into account strength, torsional rigidity and weight, Dow claims, explaining that the joining technology had to provide both rigidity and allow the lowest possible weight to give the Rapide advanced handling and agility.
The body structure uses a one-component toughened epoxy adhesive to bond the three aluminium types - extrusion, casting and sheet - used in the vehicle, Dow says, adding that these are anodised prior to bonding. This adhesive technology improves body stiffness, providing significant improvements in handling, ride and crash performance, Dow claims.
For the lightweight body panels, two-component PU adhesives were selected as they offer variable curing characteristics, a critical factor in view of the unique Aston Martin production techniques which involve much hand crafting, the firm explained. They are also non-conductive which is important in order to avoid contact corrosion where the different materials including aluminium, steel and composites come together, Dow added, pointing out that this provides long-term durability for the adhesive.
In terms of mechanical properties, the two-component PU adhesives provide an appropriate ratio between modulus and elongation, again as required when bonding the dissimilar materials used in the Rapide, Dow concluded.