Direct-glazing adhesives are an increasingly in demand component of automotive manufacturing. Original equipment manufacturers use these adhesives for auto glass assembly. Likewise, aftermarket repair shops need these products for auto glass replacement.
However, direct-glazing adhesives are currently experiencing several challenges in the automotive adhesives market. Let’s take a look at these challenges and the industry solution.
Direct-Glazing Adhesives Challenge #1: Automotive Advancements Make Meeting Standards Difficult
Safety standards for direct-glazing adhesives address crashworthiness. This refers to the vehicle’s ability to protect its occupants during a crash. Compliance to these standards means that the glazing material is strong enough to:
- Retain the vehicle’s windshield
- Prevent occupant ejection
- Reduce occupant injuries and fatalities
Manufacturers’ ability to meet these standards becomes increasingly difficult with automotive technology advancements. In an effort to reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency, the types of substrates that require bonding are changing.
Tempered glass is being replaced with laminated glass. Plastic and polycarbonate windshields are being developed, too. As a result, direct-glazing adhesives are continuously being customized to meet the need of evolving substrate combinations. With each new combination, direct-glazing adhesives must pass the standards test for FMVSS compliance.
Direct-Glazing Adhesives Challenge #2: Surface Prep Adds Time and Money to Manufacturing Process
Most standard direct-glazing adhesives require surface prep, cleaning agents, primers or priming solutions before adhesive application. Surface prep is beneficial for the following reasons:
- Removes anything that would prohibit a solid bond from forming including dust, dirt and grease
- Primers in particular also provide UV protection or corrosion prevention to the adhesive
However, surface prep has several disadvantages:
- Each type used requires different pre-production and monitoring.
- Additional steps add significant time and cost to production.
Direct-Glazing Challenge #3: Releasing VOCs into the Air
Traditional direct-glazing adhesives are polyurethanes that require primers, which release volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) into the air. VOCs can have adverse health effects.
Industry Solution: Silyl Modified Polymers
Silyl modified polymer (SMP) products are now being sought out as the alternative to polyurethanes for direct-glazing adhesives.
How SMP Solves Challenge #1: One Product Bonds to Many Substrates
SMP adhesives are very versatile. A single product can bond a wide variety of substrates together. This simplifies the process for manufacturers who now only need to have one adhesive that passes FMVSS testing.
How SMP Solves Challenge #2: No Primer Needed
SMP adhesives do not require primers in order to have a strong, sufficient bond. This speeds up production time efficiencies, saving manufacturers time and money.
How SMP Solves Challenge #3: Green Option
SMP adhesives are solvent and isocyanate-free. They do not release VOCs and other chemicals in the air that could have harmful effects.
Bostik is an industry leader in SMP. In 2014, Bostik won the Frost & Sullivan North American Automotive Direct Glazing Enabling Technology Leadership Award for our efforts.