Casalini, the Italian light vehicle manufacturer is now using a special methacrylate adhesive from ITW Plexus to bond a steel reinforcing frame to the GRP cabin interiors of its new M10 micro car, Kerry MPV and Pickup truck. Structural bonding

This is a new bonding application for the 73 year-old company and it presented Plexus with a tough list of requirements. High strength was necessary but with good flexibility. Excellent fatigue resistance and the ability to withstand stress were paramount. Casalini wanted to minimise processing times so they needed an adhesive with shorter working and fixture times as well as one capable of bonding substrates with little or no surface preparation. Finally the adhesive had to present no health & safety issues.

Plexus rose to the challenge and after in-depth discussions and meetings on site with the client, put forward a special methacrylate adhesive MA 422. Tests both in the laboratory and in the customer’s process confirmed that the adhesive met all these rigorous requirements. The adhesive is now supplied to Casalini in cartridges and is machine-applied to the cabin wall. The frame is then positioned in place and held there while the adhesive – which has excellent gap-filling properties – rapidly sets, giving increased strength and safety to the cabin.

Casalini’s Production Manager Mr. Fermi told us “Originally we were using a two component PU adhesive but after talking with Plexus and their local distributor Vaber we learned that MA 422 methacrylate adhesive would work much faster for us, increasing throughput and reducing our manufacturing costs. Our material costs were also reduced by using an adhesive dispenser. The technical advice and assistance given to us by both Plexus and Vaber throughout the production trials and since that time has been exceptional.”

ITW Plexus specialises in the design and manufacture of sophisticated structural adhesives for the bonding of materials used in such diverse markets as transportation, marine, wind energy, automotive, engineering and construction and the company is a division of Performance Polymers Europe (PPE), headquartered in Rushden England.

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