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Henkel's new Composite Lab in Isogo-ku, Yokohama is equipped with its own HP-RTM equipment coupled to a 380-tonne press.
Henkel's new Composite Lab in Isogo-ku, Yokohama is equipped with its own HP-RTM equipment coupled to a 380-tonne press.
Photo: 12

Henkel has opened a new composite test center in Yokohama, Japan with a focus on the automotive market.

Interest in the use of composites to reduce vehicle weight and increase performance is rising rapidly among automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. But their demands are strict: they require cost-effective processes suitable for production of more than 10,000 parts per year.

This is the reason why Henkel has opened a new Composite Lab to collaborate with automotive customers in the development of composite parts and the optimization of series production process conditions.

Trials can be carried out with different test molds on Henkel's own High Pressure Resin Transfer Molding (HP-RTM) equipment. The HP-RTM machine includes a 380 tons press for trials close to series production conditions.

Frank Kerstan, Global Program Manager Automotive Composites, commented, "We are very proud to have this new state-of-the-art test center in Asia. As vehicle manufacturers worldwide look to reduce weight in cars and trucks to help boost fuel economy and reduce emissions, they are having to set aside the mindset that has dictated traditional material and process choices, and look at new and emerging technologies."

Last year, Henkel also opened a similar Composite Lab in Heidelberg, Germany.

The company's composites portfolio includes composite matrix resins and adhesives. The Loctite MAX series of matrix resins is suitable for use with glass and carbon fiber preforms designed for the RTM process. This range also includes binders and release agents for fiber-reinforced components.

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