Henkel AG & Co. KGA has opened a test facility for composites in Yokohama, Japan, to serve the auto industry.
The new site is in response to automotive sector's increasing interests in composite and lightweighting demands, Henkel said in a July 20 news release.
Automakers and Tier 1 companies' demands are strict, noted Henkel, saying the firms require cost effective processes suitable for production of more than 10,000 parts per year.
“In practical terms, this means they often want custom-formulated, fast-curing resins for use in short production cycles. This magnifies the importance of having reliable partners with in-house test capabilities,” the Düsseldorf, Germany-based company added.
At the new composite lab, automotive customers can work with Henkel experts to develop and test composite parts, and also optimize series production process conditions.
Auto customers can carry out trials with different test molds on Henkel's high pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) equipment, at the site.
The HP-RTM machine includes a 380-metric-ton press for trials close to series production conditions.
Henkel opened a European composite lab in Heidelberg, Germany, last year.
“As vehicle manufacturers worldwide look to reduce weight in cars and trucks to help boost fuel economy and reduce emissions, they are having to set aside the mindset that has dictated traditional material and process choices, and look at new and emerging technologies,” said Frank Kerstan, global program manager, automotive composites.