body panel adhesives is a truck dooor

Body panel adhesives

Body panel adhesives for vehicles

With the adhesive technology in North-America progressing, adhesive solutions for body panels are created which allow for quicker vehicle repairs and assemblies. These adhesives especially reduce repairing and assembly time where no welded bonds are needed or they are not possible. Furthermore, these body panel adhesives can also be used as a replacement for mechanical fasteners.

These are not the only benefits that body panel adhesives provide. Even though the industry for them has strict requirements, they can be customized for specific vehicles. This means that the bond quality will not falter while possibly speeding up the assembly process of these vehicles. These adhesives are used in transport and vehicles sectors such as road transport, public transportation as well as agricultural machines. The use of these adhesives in vehicle repair and production has been increasing on a global scale, even outside of the United States and Canada. A shift from mechanical fasteners to body panel adhesives can therefore be seen. To understand the reason for such a shift, the advantages that body panel adhesives bring in comparison to mechanical fasteners will be listed underneath.

Advantages of body panel adhesives

  • Lighter: mechanical fasteners are heavier than most body panel adhesives and a switch can lead to up to 80 kilograms of weight reduction. This would mean that the use of adhesives can lead to noticeable reduce of fuel consumption.
  • More efficient: as mentioned before adhesives can reduce assembly lines. The application process for body panel adhesives can be completely automated. Furthermore, the materials for welded bonds and fasteners are more expensive than those of adhesives making adhesives a more desirable option.
  • Anti-corrosion: adhesives are not corrosive unlike mechanical fasteners which will begin to rust during the lifespan of a vehicle. Sometimes adhesives can even prevent corrosion from spreading by functioning as an anti-corrosion barrier between the metal panels, contributing to the overall durability of the vehicle.
  • Noise cancellation: due to the flexibility of adhesives, they can effectively be used to cancel vibrations and noise to be felt and heard within vehicles. This will improve passengers’ comfort which is most favorable for buses, trains or other public transport.
  • Fastening diverse material: body panel adhesives can be used to bond materials of diverse nature. It has the ability to bond metals to composite materials. Since the use of composite materials in the vehicle industry has been increasing many other vehicles might benefit from using body panel adhesive systems.

Advantages of adhesives for repairs

Also in vehicle repairs, body panel adhesive systems have proven to be beneficial. The following benefits come along with body adhesives in vehicle repair applications:

  • Quicker repairs: body panel adhesive can be applied quicker than mechanical fasteners and does not have to rely on specialists to apply them which are needed when it comes to welding fasteners. Therefore, repairs will be executed sooner having transport vehicles ready for service in less time.
  • Allow harder repairs: Tough to reach spots that cannot be welded can be reached by adhesives depending on the manner of application. This opens up possibilities for specific vehicle reparations.
  • Repairing diverse material: Welding is also not an option when the materials are of a variety. As mentioned before the vehicle industry is starting to depend more on composite materials which also need to be repaired. Therefore, it might be easier to depend more on panel adhesives which are not dependent on the nature of the material.

Adhesive applications in assembly lines

car door with body panel adhesives for water stripping
Body panel adhesives are often applied as assembly line adhesives to car doors as weatherstrip and watershield bonding.

Body panel adhesives in vehicle assembly are suitable for the application of roof skins, body skins and quarter panels. We will discuss the most frequent applications which are weatherstrip bonding and watershield bonding.

Weatherstrip bonding, also known as waterstripping, is a way of protecting the vehicle interior from its environment. Body panel adhesives can cancel vehicle vibrations because of their flexible nature even after curing. Most importantly they retain their qualities even in harsh temperatures or weather.

Watershield bonding is when the film is bonded directly to a vehicle’s door to protect the electrical parts from water damage. The adhesive systems for watershield bonding can be systems that are pre-applied or directly applied.

Applications of body panel adhesives

The application processes that were mentioned before can be performed using various adhesive technologies. More or less they can be divided into three: waterborne, solvent based and hot melt adhesives. The most suitable adhesive is eventually decided upon the characteristics of the product and its assembly line. We will mention some of the characteristics of each of the different solutions:

Waterborne are liquid adhesives which do not contain any toxic solvents, making them safe and easy to use. On the other hand, hot melt adhesives are completely solid and environmentally friendly. They are applied by using heat and contain no solvents which results in minimum waste. Lastly, solvent based adhesives are liquid that can be considered stronger than other liquid alternatives. However, they have VOC values that are higher and therefore require safety measures.

Materials that can be found in the body panel adhesives in cars include MMA, rubber silicone, MS polymers and polyurethane. Butyl-based or hot pressure sensitive adhesives (HMPSA) are generally used when it comes to hot melt adhesives.

Finding the body panel adhesive you need

Even now that you know body panel adhesives bring many benefits along it is still tough to find the right one to assemble or repair your vehicles. If you are interested in more information on advantages and solutions for your garage do not hesitate to contact us. We will gladly help you find the adhesive system that fits your product and answer any questions that might have popped up while reading this article.

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