Glue Within Glue

High-performance adhesives dominate automotive engineering.

Organofunctional silanes in adhesives and sealants allow rapid and reliable bonding, as well as long-term stability for applications such as windshield bonding.

A robot sprays adhesive on the interior of a truck’s windshield. Minutes later, this major glass component, weighing 40-60 kg, is firmly bonded to the coated body of the vehicle. A few hours later, the freight-forwarding contractor can take possession of this new vehicle.

Adhesive-bonded joints are being increasingly used in the automotive industry in both trucks and passenger cars, in the body as add-on parts. Rapid advances in robotics, as well as modern, high-performance adhesives, play an important role in this technology, known as structural bonding. This bonding technology is rapidly gaining ground for automotive components under the hood, in the roof and on the doors. The lengths to be bonded in top- and mid-range passenger cars are now sometimes three times longer than they were just a few years ago, resulting in improved vehicle stability and crash safety. Weight savings are a possibility as well.

“Today, it’s no longer a problem to bond steel, metal, glass or coating surfaces to other functional materials,” said Degussa Manager Dr. Gerrit Schneider, who is responsible for marketing organofunctional silanes in adhesives and sealants. These silanes - admixed into the basic adhesive supplied by a producer - allow rapid and reliable bonding, as well as the desired long-term stability.

“In the absence of silanes, development of high-performance adhesives would hardly have been possible,” he said. “Only silanes allow technically labor-intensive processes such as screwing, welding and riveting to be dispensed with.” These ‘adhesives in adhesives’ require careful handling; incorrect storage or transportation of silanes can adversely affect the subsequent properties of the adhesive and, in some cases, may lead to serious problems in the bonded product.

Dynasylan® specialty silanes protect adhesives and sealants from excessively high atmospheric humidity. During transport of the bonded (but not cured) joints, they ensure full bonding performance. Organofunctional silanes are therefore suitable for use wherever very high adhesive strength is needed within a short time. In truck windshields, this is possible in 15-30 minutes.

Degussa has been active in the research, production and application of organofunctional silanes for more than 70 years. The company holds more than 700 patents in the field. In the adhesives and sealants industry, Dynasylan products are used as adhesion promoters (adhesion), and in crosslinking (cohesion), drying, reinforcement, and “endcapping” (additional selective reaction steps). The silanes are also dehydrating agents, comonomers, binders and reaction partners. In addition, the products are used in coatings, plastics, and cables; on glass fibers and glass fabrics; and even in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals. The most important considerations in their manufacture and use are compatibility, conservation of resources, and sustainable development. Dynasylan products comply with the chemical industry’s Responsible Care initiative.

About the Company

Degussa, a wholly owned subsidiary of the RAG Group, is the global market leader in specialty chemicals. Its business is creating essentials - innovative products and system solutions that make indispensable contributions to its customers’ success.

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