The Importance of Thermal Expansion in Vehicle Development

Temperature is an important consideration throughout the entire vehicle development process. The most prominent example is inside the car where driver and passenger comfort are taken into account. The issue with thermal expansion is that when one substrate grows faster than another during heating, potential issues can arise including distortion and joint stress.

This is common when bonding steel and aluminum, especially during curing in the paint shop oven where temperature differences are in the realm of 300 to 375 degrees F. Adhesives are the most critical bonding technique for multi-material mixes, often bonding materials that otherwise wouldn’t be able to be joined with traditional methods like welding.