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Dow Automotive portfolio for lightweight design

News International-French

13 Apr 2012

Increased energy efficiency and reduced exhausts emissions represent the leading megatrend in the global transportation industry, driven both by governmental regulation as well as by consumer awareness.

Lightweight proves to be a very effective solution to address this challenge; beside advanced metals or full composite monocoques, a more promising way forward is the hybrid construction. Dow Automotive Systems supports the most demanding challenge in vehicle design with three major solutions applicable in traditional combustion engine as well as hybrid or electric engine driven cars.


Composite solution

With the development of ultra fast curing thermoset resins called VORAFORCE™ Dow Automotive can enable very high volume production (above 60.000 units per year with one tool). VORAFORCE is especially designed for CFK composites and successfully passed several processing tests on large parts in RTM .Long enough injection cycles followed by extremely rapid cure cycles enable very fast demould time with no post curing. In addition to several tests Dow Automotive is also developing material models for CAD simulation to shorten early prototype evaluation and support component and tooling development.


Assembly technology

The joining of dissimilar materials needs to bridge the gap with the different thermal and mechanical properties of each material. BETAMATE™ adhesive technology, pioneered by Dow Automotive in the last decades, has proven robustness and reliability in joining various light-weight metals such as aluminum, different HSS steel grades and magnesium. Now, as light-weight plastic composite materials such as  SMC and CFK are further optimized or breaking through, Dow Automotive offers with its new BETAFORCE™ PU based adhesive product range the ideal joint technology to enable an optimum material mix and light-weight design . It owns a number of benefits such as:

  • Robust and reliable product performance over a broad temperature range
  • Combines high modulus, high strength, & high elongation in one system
  • Primer less bonding of composites (SMC, BMC, CFRP, FRP)
  •   Reduces noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and improve crash performance
  •  Standard and accelerated cure systems to suit manufacturing requirements
  • Allows bonding in general assembly, after E-coat and/or painting
  •  Optimal mix ratios at 1:1 by volume


Cavity filling solutions

Besides reducing emissions by lightweight design any vehicle still has to meet crash performance targets. In order to combine both aspects BETAFOAM™ cavity filling proves to be a very valuable solution. By injecting PU foam the general performance of a lightweight body can be enhanced. At the same time this technical benefit also results in commercial ones due to elimination of additional reinforcements, thin walling steel components or less amount of carbon fibers in CFK parts. Scalability can as well be achieved by designing the baseline Body structure for the simplest motorization/crash test and optimizing performance with localized BETAFOAM injection on more demanding scenarios.



About Dow Automotive Systems

Dow Automotive Systems is a leading provider of polyurethanes, elastomers, films, fluids, adhesives, emissions solutions and acoustic-management materials to the global transportation industry.  By working collaboratively with passenger vehicle, commercial transportation and aftermarket customers, Dow Automotive Systems is developing industry-leading solutions to address a wide range of critical market needs – increasing energy efficiency, improving safety and health, reducing exhaust emissions and enhancing vehicle quality and appeal.


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