Dow Automotive and Volkswagen recently received an Innovation Award from the Society of Plastics Engineers International (SPE) in the Process/Assembly/Enabling Technologies category for the bonded hybrid front-end carrier, which recently went into series production in Europe on the new Polo. Judging criteria focused on how well the innovation could support the product development effort. The bonded hybrid front-end carrier is a Dow Automotive technology that consists of an INSPIRE™ long glass fibre polypropylene front-end carrier bonded with BETAMATE™ low-energy substrate adhesive (LESA) to an e-coated steel reinforcement part. Unlike more traditional hybrid solutions, this design incorporates a closed-box section not possible with traditional overmolding techniques, enabling maximum stiffness with minimum weight. By using BETAMATE LESA, materials with low surface energies can be bonded to dissimilar substrates without the use of pre-treatment.

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