Specialty coatings provider Stahl announced last October that the company was expanding into the adhesive and bonding segments when it announced the launch of the RelcaBond® brand. The new products are designed primarily for customers operating in the automotive sector, as well as other markets. The company reports that this expansion builds on its presence in the elastomer coatings market.
According to Stahl, its adhesive and bonding product offering draws on the company’s longstanding research and innovation focus in the automotive space. This is channeled through Stahl’s dedicated Centers of Excellence for Automotive, from supporting product development to advanced technologies and testing equipment. Stahl also announced that the company is able to offer extensive technical and research and development support to automotive customers, including original equipment manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers.
Stahl’s expansion begins with the following products: RelcaBond 815, a low-VOC flock adhesive suited for automotive applications, and RelcaBond 650, a glass encapsulation adhesive that provides a glass-to-polymer bond for automotive modular windows. The company also has a portfolio of rubber-to-metal adhesives in the development phase.
ASI reached out to Anne Craig, global market manager – Elastomer Coatings and Adhesives, at Stahl to learn more about the company’s entry into the adhesives market.
Anne Craig is the Global Market Manager – Elastomer Coatings and Adhesives at Stahl.
ASI: What were the market drivers and customer needs that Stahl considered when deciding to enter the adhesive and bonding space?
Craig: There are niche areas within this space that are of particular interest to Stahl, and often these areas are quite consolidated with current product offerings that have quite antiquated technology. In these situations, we believe there is an opportunity for Stahl to provide state-of-the-art chemistry and technical expertise. Stahl has a history of providing solutions with low environmental impact, solutions that are friendly to both the worker and the environment. Additionally, the adhesive and bonding markets allow us to diversify our portfolio utilizing our existing knowledge and capabilities.
ASI: How will Stahl’s existing experience within the automotive market support new customers seeking solutions in automotive adhesives?
Craig: Our global team of experts have many years of experience and knowledge in the elastomer automotive coating industry. This knowledge and know how is not easily obtained within a single supplier base and therefore we pride ourselves to be able to take our existing expertise into the market and combine it with the knowledge of the end user to form a highly valued partnership. We are leaders when it comes to polymer design and formulated coating solutions, and therefore it was naturally our next step to take this existing experience and move into the automotive adhesive and bonding market.
ASI: I understand that Stahl is introducing a low-VOC flock adhesive and a glass encapsulation adhesive. Can you outline the properties and benefits these products offer customers?
Craig: Our RelcaBond® 815 flock adhesive is a green solvent-based system. We have created a product that is non-HAPS, low VOC and BTX free. With this approach, RelcaBond 815 meets the regulatory needs and the high-end abrasion, adhesion and weathering performance that is required by the OEM’s. It was also our industry knowledge that allowed us to create a product that could be easily incorporated into existing extrusion and molding operations. Our RelcaBond 650 is a water-based glass encapsulation primer. This one-component primer is applied in a single layer with no hazardous solvent. In terms of cost saving, it allows the customer up to an 80% reduction in material consumption compared to current solvent-based systems.
ASI: Stahl is also developing a portfolio of rubber-to-metal adhesives. Can you give us an idea of what customers can look forward to as the company introduces these products?
Craig: This is a state-of-the-art development project comprised of a water-based primer and a water-based bonding agent. We are very excited to introduce a unique new chemistry to the industry. Our goal with this project was always about the safety of the operators that use these products each and every day. Our novel approach allows us to focus on a much safer system while maintaining the stringent robust performance that the rubber-to-metal market requires. This new portfolio will also allow for future growth outside of the automotive industry.
ASI: What kind of support, in terms of production and research and development, can adhesive and bonding customers expect from Stahl?
Craig: We are global leaders in the elastomer and automotive weather sealing markets due to our success in developing coatings that provide superior abrasion, noise suppression and chemical resistance. These capabilities are built into Stahl’s DNA… our ability to integrated polymer and crosslinker design with our Elastomer substrate knowledge. Our global team provides a background of extensive R&D knowledge, field experience and technical support in the automotive market. This technical know-how allows us to move naturally into adjacent markets like adhesives and bonding. We have a long history of building strong partnerships with our customers and developing new solutions for their challenging applications.