Araldite Adhesives Bond with Europe’s Future Design Engineers

03 September 2004

UK University students win materials design award, aimed at educating students in structural adhesives for industrial bonding.

Four engineering students from Coventry University win £1000 cash prize champions of the inaugural Araldite Challenge – a national initiative developed by Huntsman Advanced Materials to educate future design engineers in the practicalities of design for manufacture and the benefits of using structural adhesives for industrial bonding.

Budding design engineers George Constandinides, George Xrysakis, David Muñoz and Jedsada Kraikosol from Coventry’s School of Engineering came top of the class after pitting their wits against students from six UK universities to create a bonded metal structure capable of achieving the highest load at yield.

After an introductory lecture on adhesive technology and following specific design guidelines issued by technical support at Huntsman Advanced Materials, each team created two flat top beams at least 400mm long, 25mm wide and a maximum of 150mm in height. Backed by guidance from course tutors and technical data sheets on curing cycles and pre-treatment processes, Coventry’s winning design romped to victory.

Stuart J Thompson, head of adhesive technical support EMEA at Huntsman Advanced Materials said, “Congratulations to the Coventry team on a truly exceptional design. We are delighted the Challenge has been so well received in its first year. Industrial adhesives are successfully used to bond a range of plastics, composites, metals and glass in a broad range of industrial applications. Our Challenge is geared to engaging with the next generation of design engineers to educate them about the tangible design, performance and cost benefits that adhesive technologies can deliver. We look forward to building on the initial success of the Challenge during the academic year ahead.”

Gurmail Singh, programme manager at Coventry University’s School of Engineering said, “The Araldite Challenge has been a fantastic team building exercise and has proved an excellent platform for students to discuss ideas, put theory into practice and recognise the importance of design for manufacture. The winning team are an exceptional group of students whose enthusiasm in the Challenge is reflected in the dedication shown to their degree course. They embraced the Challenge concept from start to finish and gave careful consideration to the construction of their winning design.”

“Between 70 and 80 per cent of time spent on the Araldite Challenge involved planning design specifications. The parameters set were excellent and helped concentrate the student’s minds. The whole process served as a useful introduction to adhesives – a topic not normally covered on our course syllabus which tends to focus on more traditional fastening methods like welding and riveting. We look forward to getting involved in the Challenge again and educating our next in-take of students in the benefits of adhesive bonding.”

The £1000 prize money was presented at Coventry University by Huntsman Advanced Materials representatives Stuart Thompson and Barrie Hayes who spent the morning with the triumphant students discussing the merits of their successful design and the obstacles they faced during construction.

Huntsman Advanced Materials will open the Araldite Challenge to select Universities during 2004 / 2005. Further details of how to enter will be issued later in the year.

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