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Looking for automotive industry trends? We cover how chemistry is advancing future vehicle trends to meet Automotive OEM and Supplier design requirements. Topics covered include autonomous vehicles, eMobility, and lightweighting to name a few. Subscribe and receive monthly posts, covering these topics and many more!

Smart Chemistry Enables Advanced Vehicle Technologies

    November 13, 2017

It’s the end of the On the Road Technology Tour, however the journey towards advanced chemistry for tomorrow’s vehicles is just beginning! Henkel invited attendees from Automotive OEM and Suppliers to explore the role Smart Chemistry plays in enabling advanced vehicle technologies leading the way towards lightweighting and autonomous vehicle platforms.

With the changing landscape of the industry, Angela Cackovich, corporate vice president, Transportation and Metals, Henkel Corporation, NA, welcomed guests and addressed the rapid movement toward the autonomous vehicle. She observed that consumers are expecting the connected technologies they have in their hands and on their bodies to be in their cars as vehicles transform to a major communications platform.

Additionally, Brian Daugherty, chief technology officer, Motor Equipment Manufacturers Association, offered a detailed overview of advanced vehicle technology, including electrification, vehicle-to-vehicle communications, cyber security and automation.

Chemistry, while not always visible to the naked eye, plays a significant role as an enabler of these technologies, transforming the vehicle from the inside out; let’s take a closer look at what was discussed at this forum that brought together industry experts.

Exterior Transformation

Ankil Shah, Head of Materials, Toyota, spoke about the future of lightweighting. Innovations in chemistry, including adhesives, bonding and surface treatment, enable OEMs and suppliers to meet lightweighting initiatives.

Lightweighting is an important topic at Henkel, especially the topic of managing the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) in multimaterial lightweight automotive structures. Mike Flener, global programs, Transportation and Metals, Henkel, illustrated this critical issue with the example of adhesives used in multimaterial structures going through the extreme temperature changes of automotive paint ovens. Henkel, in partnership with Clemson University, is developing novel experimental methods for measuring thermal expansion in vehicle structures.

Connected Car Catalyst
Moving from lightweighting to the road towards autonomous vehicles, a drivers’ main interface within the connected car will be touchscreens and displays. Adhesives are instrumental in enabling in-vehicle integrated lighted display systems to project clear, crisp images that enhance the driver experience.

According to Olivier Postel, PhD, global market segment head, Adhesive Electronics Displays, Henkel, adhesive electronics display solutions in vehicles will continue to grow:

Henkel is positioned to meet industry needs with liquid optically clear adhesives (LOCA) for enhanced LED/OLED displays that provide optical clarity and 99 percent light transmission, as well as sealants and liquid gasket options for display assembly.

Step Inside
Increases in digital screens won’t be the only change coming to automotive interiors, according to Susan Kozora, director, Advanced Engineering, IAC. She addressed how electric mobility and autonomy are shaping future interiors. They will be “smart” and “multifunctional,” including resilient materials for car sharing to accommodate multi-use interiors, and “comfort and delight” features, including heated surfaces, ambient lighting and luminescent surfaces.

To facilitate these changes, Barb Wehrle, business development interior adhesives, Henkel, discussed the growing use of adhesives in today’s vehicle cabins to manage lamination of interiors materials, improve performance, enhance vehicle comfort and create an attractive surface appearance.

Inside out, the automotive industry is changing, and chemistry is making it possible. To learn more about Henkel technologies enabling future vehicle development visit


About the Author, Henkel Automotive

As the market leader in adhesives, sealants and functional coatings to the transportation industry, Henkel drives automotive designs forward by increasing performance, reducing weight and enabling sustainability. Backed by extensive design capabilities, a broad product range and technical expertise, the company delivers solutions to all segments of the vehicle.

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