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DOW Automotive have produced the first commerical application of their bonding technology in a hybrid front-end solution from Volkswagen.
DOW Automotive have applied the Low Energy Surface Adhesives (LESA) bonding technology to the new VW Polo. The Betamate product can bond PP parts to metal parts without pre-treatment such as flaming.
Working together with Dow Automotive, Volkswagen developed a solution that reduced weight, but also met all requirements for part rigidity and cost requirements. Weight reduction was achieved on 25 % or 1 ½ kg per part in comparison to other solutions.
The prototype for this part which is based on the Golf IV front end carrier already displayed many of the features present on the new Polo front end: a combination of long glass fibre reinforced (LGF) polypropylene bonded with low energy substrate adhesive (LESA) to metal parts.
Unlike more traditional hybrid solutions, this design incorporates a closed box section not possible with the traditional over-moulding technique, enabling maximum stiffness with minimum weight.
By using LESA technology, materials with low surface energies, such as polypropylene, can be bonded to dissimilar substrates without the use of pre-treatment. In addition, Dow Automotive’s hybrid solution also enables the flexibility to implement design changes late in the product development phase resulting in lower tooling costs.
The hybrid concept as presented in the new Polo is a mature concept that still offers potential. Emphasizing this future potential Roland Janssen, Plastics Marketing Manager at Dow Automotive, said: “We are delighted that Volkswagen decided in favour for our technology and thus proved our approach. With our application know-how we at Dow Automotive see still great potential for further weight reduction as the central area of the concept.”
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