We may have to lose that old expression that a car seems held together with glue and baling wire.
Over the next few years, an increasing number of new vehicles will be assembled with adhesives rather than screws, bolts and welds — and that should be good, automakers say.
As fuel economy standards tighten, manufacturers must look everywhere for weight savings, and using powerful glues in place of screws, bolts and welds can help.
The average new vehicle today contains 27 pounds of adhesives, up about 10 pounds from a decade ago, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The 2015 Ford F-150, which gets a new aluminum body, will rely on three times as many adhesives as the current pickup.
One advantage of using the adhesives is that they allow automakers to join structural materials like aluminum, carbon fiber and steel that often can’t be welded together.
Though the process can be laborious, it offers other benefits as well: If part of a carbon-fiber or aluminum body panel gets damaged, it can sometimes be cut out and replaced with a portion that is glued in, rather than having to use an entire new panel.
Engines could be next. Although extreme heat can be hard on adhesives, manufacturers are looking for ways to make the glues more resistant to heat.
“We have been moving closer and closer to the engine,” Florian Schattenmann, a Dow vice president, told The Wall Street Journal.
Terry Box-Dallas Morning News