Bostik, a global supplier of adhesives and sealants for the transportation industry, opened a new transportation technical center in January.
Located in Ann Arbor, MI, the tech center is Bostik’s response to the growing variety of substrates and composites.
“One of the main motivations for this center is a need for R&D resources for developing and testing adhesives in automotive applications,” explained Igor Leclere, Director of Sales and Marketing, Americas Transportation for Bostik.
He believes both OEM and tier suppliers are seeking such expertise—more than in the past—on the part of adhesive suppliers. “We encourage using this center free of charge such as for benchmarking studies, even against competitor products," he remarked.
The technical center is strategically placed in Ann Arbor and acts as a support resource to the OEM & tier suppliers alike. Bostik will be pursuing a limited A2LA certification as well. Bostik already has a limited A2LA certification to support its fabric and textile businesses. The center is equipped with $3M worth of equipment, including:
• X-Y-Z robotic dispensing equipment
• Hot melt dispensing equipment, both automated and handgun
• Foamed hot melt dispensing equipment
• Butyl dispensing equipment
• Hot melt roll coating equipment
• Heat reactivation press
• Web and film adhesive lamination equipment
• Instron analytical testing equipment
• Hot melt polyurethane dispensing
• Programmable environmental chambers
“The majority of our work is in interior trim, such as windshield bonding, headliners, seats, door panels, flooring, instrument panels, and other items,” Leclere said.
He also emphasized that Bostik is committed to developing green adhesive technologies, primarily in adhesives with no solvents. He pointed out that the company has an ongoing sustainability program known as “Green-in-Motion,” researching new technologies and ideas for adhesives in transportation.
According to Bostik, a majority of the adhesive applications for interiors will fall into one of three broad categories: hot melt adhesives, liquid adhesives, and pre-applied adhesives. For example, a "green" liquid adhesive would be water- rather than solvent-based. Examples of each type of adhesive were demonstrated by the company at an open house at the new facility in January.
The new technical center will support Bostik’s European and Asian transportation business units in the short term as the development of similar facilities in other regions of the world begins in 2011.