Henkel Opens Composite Lab in Heidelberg

22.06.2016 -

German consumer chemicals producer Henkel has opened its new test facility for automotive composites in Heidelberg, Germany. The Composites Lab is focused on helping automotive customers develop and test composite parts as well as finding suitable production process conditions by leveraging Düsseldorf-based group’s knowhow in adhesives, sealants and functional coatings.

In the lab, customers will be able to conduct trials with high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) equipment, which includes a 380 t press and injection equipment for polyurethanes and Epoxy materials.

Explaining the need for a dedicated lab, Henkel said automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers seek cost-effective processes suitable for production of more than 10,000 parts per year and they need custom-formulated, fast-curing resins for use in short production cycles. This, the German group said, “magnifies the importance of having reliable partners with in-house test capabilities, which are close to series production conditions.” 

Henkel’s relevant portfolio includes composite matrix resin such as its Loctite MAX series which is said to be suitable for glass and carbon fiber and designed for the RTM process. The range also includes binders and release agents for fiber-reinforced components.

Oher automotive products in the group’s portfolio include composite adhesives, such as the Loctite series for multi-substrate bonding and assembly. Henkel is also in a position to provide process know-how and engineering expertise, for example for the resin transfer molding process and the simulation and characterization of composite parts.