Henkel brings its composite development right to one of its biggest customers: The Japanese automotive industry. The state-of-the-art test facility in Yokohama is the second of its kind, with the first based in Heidelberg, Germany.
Isogo-ku, Yokohama/Japan – Interest in the use of composites to reduce vehicle weight and increase performance is rising rapidly among automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. But their demands are strict: they require cost-effective processes suitable for production of more than 10,000 parts per year. In practical terms, this means they often want custom-formulated, fast-curing resins for use in short production cycles. This magnifies the importance of having reliable partners with in-house test capabilities.
This is why Henkel, a global leader in composite matrix resins, adhesives, sealants and functional coatings for the automotive industry, has opened the new Composite Lab, where automotive customers can work with Henkel experts to develop and test composite parts, and also optimize series production process conditions. They can carry out trials with different test molds on Henkel’s own High Pressure Resin Transfer Molding (HP-RTM) equipment. The HP-RTM machine includes a 380 tons press for trials close to series production conditions.
Last year, Henkel also opened a Composite Lab in Europe – in Heidelberg, Germany. The new test center in Asia reflects Henkel’s commitment to deliver high levels of service, quality, service and know-how close to its customers around the world.
Frank Kerstan, Global Program Manager Automotive Composites, says: “We are very proud to have this new state-of-the-art test center in Asia. As vehicle manufacturers worldwide look to reduce weight in cars and trucks to help boost fuel economy and reduce emissions, they are having to set aside the mindset that has dictated traditional material and process choices, and look at new and emerging technologies. Both our Composite Labs offer OEMs and Tier-One suppliers the opportunity to work together with our experts to learn first-hand what the options and possibilities may be for using advanced composite materials with short production cycle times in their vehicles.” Henkel’s composites portfolio includes composite matrix resins and adhesives.