Tag Archives: automotive manufacturers
conPolymers are some of the most common base materials used in automotive parts. Polypropelenes, Polyolefins, and ABS plastics are used in dashboards, door panels, bumper fascias, liftgates, sensors, and increasingly exterior doors and fenders. A polymer is a low surface energy material that typically needs some form of surface processing prior to bonding an assembly, encapsulating a sensor, painting an interior control knob or an exterior bumper fascia. These materials also tend to show high contamination with mold releases that can be tough to remove and will essentially guarantee unsuccessful adhesion or coating.
There are a variety of surface processing methods used in the industry to help remove contamination and increase the surface energy of these polymer materials. These processes include flame treatment, plasma treatment, corona treatment, and solvent wiping. Another option is to utilize specialty paints and adhesives that tolerate lower energy substrates. There are pitfalls, however, to implementing any of these methods that manufacturers need to be aware of. Understanding the nature of these surface-critical systems is the only way to guarantee success in the final result. Control of the inputs means predictability and control of the output.
Higher Performance Materials Call for Higher Demand of Quality
In the automotive industry, there is a constant focus on higher performance materials that provide more with less — better strength, better fuel economy, and better durability at the expense of weight and cost.
What manufacturers once produced in steel and iron they now make in aluminum. Furthermore, manufacturers are increasingly replacing aluminum with composite. Whether it is a car roof, hood, trunk lid, intake manifold, or dashboard, automotive manufacturers are pushing the boundaries of what they thought was possible for material performance.
New materials require new coatings, new adhesives, and new paints. And all of these require new process solutions to guarantee an ever-increasing demand of quality.
A major challenge has been the need to shift to a higher performance material that requires bonding, coating, sealing, painting, or printing. These materials often have more stringent processing specifications to get similar adhesive performance. …Read More