Measuring Thermal Expansion in Vehicle Design and Development

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Managing the stress of thermal expansion at required temperatures and pressures can be a challenge – particularly when it comes to dissimilar materials.

In this segment of On the Road with Henkel, we take a closer look at how our research partnership with Clemson University helps us develop structural adhesives that adapt to those stresses.


Speaker 1: [00:00:00] Manufacturing with materials like aluminum makes vehicles lighter but managing the stress of thermal expansion that require temperatures and pressures can be a challenge. So we're on the road with Henkel in Greenville, South Carolina. Here our research partnership with Clemson University helps us develop structural adhesives that adapt to those stresses. Let's find out more.


Speaker 2: Thermal expansion is not a problem, it is just a phenomenon. Every metal, every material actually, when exposed to thermal cycling, increase in temperature or drop in temperature will expand or contract. The problem happens in automotive structures when we bring metals or materials of different types together in a structure.

Speaker 3: Henkel and Clemson have come together to really do a deep dive in this particular topic. Uh, Henkel brings the-the chemistry research, chemistry background and knowledge from the adhesive aspect and Clemson is bringing the-the knowledge of the automotive industry and also a lot of the test methodologies that we need to now take that next step into the future. They've been able to take a step back and say, "How can we model this? How can we look at this from an experimental methodology?"; And what the-the predictive model does is eliminates a lot of physical testing that is still common in the design process, but it also allows a lot less guesswork in the design developments of the-the material selection but also in the type of adhesive.

Speaker 2: The experimental capabilities that we have here at Clemson all revolve around using the state of the art techniques for measuring the formation optically. And we use the cameras to monitor the objects so we can accurately measure the expansion and contraction in response to the thermal loading. We did not invent this technique but it has not been used in any application close to what we're doing here in this project with Henkel.

Speaker 3: The end result of the simulation tool is really to allow the OEMs to better utilize the adhesive in their joints. It allows the OEM and Henkel to partner early and have a much higher comfort level, uh, through the design development process. But we can also take this exact same model and understand with this how we want to design develop future materials for these multi-material mixes coming forward.

Speaker 2: Bringing Henkel into this partnership put us at the forefront of research and development of joining because adhesive bonding is quite possibly the most critical joining technique for future lightweight structures.


[00:02:56] [END OF AUDIO]

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