With lightweighting in mind, automotive manufacturers are using more and more parts made from carbon fiber or glass fiber composites. Henkel has developed a polyurethane-based composite matrix resin that cures faster than the traditional epoxy resins.
Composites based on carbon fiber or glass fiber are gaining momentum in various application areas due to the opportunity for enormous weight savings over traditional part construction, with no loss in mechanical performance. Starting in aerospace where pre-impregnated fibers (prepregs) are manually laid up and then baked into composites, many different applications are now penetrating into the automotive industry. New manufacturing methods like resin transfer molding enable economic processes that are suited for high volume automotive production.
For the resin transfer molding process, Henkel has developed a new composite matrix resin based on polyurethane which enables improved economics and throughput in processing. Compared to standard epoxy matrix resins, the new Loctite MAX2 cures significantly faster. During injection, it also enables more efficient impregnation without stressing the fibers due to the lower viscosity of the resin.
The composite properties of Loctite MAX2 were specially developed to provide more flexibility as well as much higher impact resistance than traditional epoxy resins. Henkel is confident that this new generation of polyurethane matrix resins deliver significant benefits for fast and efficient manufacturing.