Duesseldorf, Germany -- With lightweighting in mind, automotive manufacturers are using more and more parts made from carbon fibre or glass-fibre composites: resin supplier Henkel claims it has developed a polyurethane-based composite matrix resin that cures faster than the traditional epoxy resins.
Composites are gaining wider use due to the opportunity for enormous weight savings over traditional part construction, with no loss in mechanical performance, according to the German company.
Starting in aerospace where pre-impregnated fibres (prepregs) are manually laid up and then baked into composites, Henkel said many different composites are now penetrating into the automotive industry. New manufacturing methods like resin transfer moulding enable economic processes that are suited for high- volume automotive production, Henkel points out.
For resin transfer moulding, Henkel's composite matrix resin based on polyurethane offers improved economics and throughput in processing. Compared to standard epoxy matrix resins, the new Loctite MAX2 cures in significantly less time. During injection, it also enables more efficient impregnation without stressing the fibres due to the lower viscosity of the resin, Henkel adds.
Loctite MAX2 was developed to provide more flexibility as well as much higher impact resistance than traditional epoxy resins. Henkel says it is "confident that this new generation of polyurethane matrix resins deliver significant benefits for fast and efficient manufacturing."