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New Dow adhesives give cost, environmental advantages

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From left, Dow Automotive Systems' John Cox, Dean Hoy and Frank Billotto greet potential customers at the recent ACS Rubber Division Rubber Expo in Nashville, Tenn.

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Dow Automotive Systems has introduced three adhesives that it says will provide both cost and environmental benefits to customers.

The products—Megum 5386, Thixon P-21 and Thixon 526—are used to bond elastomeric materials to metal, engineering plastics and other elastomers. The adhesives are used in a wide variety of automotive and industrial applications, including belts, hoses, mounts, bushings and seals.

Dow Automotive said the new offerings can help customers consolidate the number of products they use in their manufacturing processes, which can lead to reduced costs, according to Frank Billotto, business marketing manager for the Dow business unit.

“We kept that in mind as we formulated these new materials and how to optimize the cost of the systems,” he said at the recent ACS Rubber Division Rubber Expo in Nashville. Dow Automotive introduced the new lines at the event.

Dow's Megum and Thixon families of bonding agents include low-viscosity, organic, solvent-based solutions and/or dispersions of polymers and other reactive chemicals. They are used as one-coat bonding agents or two-coat primer and cover cement systems. Some products in the portfolios are clear non-pigmented solutions, and others are water-based.

“Dow Automotive Systems is formulating more sustainable products at every opportunity, which helps customers meet compliance regulations,” Billotto said. “These new Megum and Thixon adhesives also allow customers to consolidate the number of products used and reduce annual adhesive costs as part of their production process.”

Product benefits

Megum 5386 is a general purpose cover coat adhesive geared to bonding soft and difficult-to-bond elastomers, the company said. Bonds using this material are generally extremely resistant in high-temperature applications, boiling water, salt fog and various hydraulic fluids. It has excellent resistance to glycol and has a higher reactivity at lower dry film thickness, so customers can use fewer products than competitive materials, which also helps to reduce volatile organic compounds.

It will be of particular help in under-the-hood applications in vehicles where increasing operating temperatures are becoming the norm. “Driving that is some changes in aerodynamic design that are closing out airflow to the engine, so that's increasing the temperature and requires the rubber substrates to be enhanced to resist that higher temperature environment,” he said.

The Thixon P-21 and Thixon 526 are a next-generation primer and cover coat system that provides outstanding performance at competitive cost, Dow said, and it gives an octyl-phenol-free primer formula that is compliant with the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) regulations in Europe. The primer and cover products can be used together or separately.

REACH has had more of an impact on the firm's European business than North America thus far, but that can change quickly, Billotto said. “Those things tend to trickle on over in time, so we like to be proactive in looking at that list of materials and try to stay away from those in our products.”

The three new materials are available globally already. They are made at Dow facilities in West Alexandria, Ohio, and Europe.

Feedback has been good, and he said customers indicate the value proposition on the two new Thixon lines is enabling them to standardize products and still receive good bonding performance in all harsh testing conditions.

Megum 5386 has received good reviews on its high-temperature resistance, Billotto said, along with helping to reduce mold-fouling in the process.

He said Dow Automotive works very closely with customers in the development process, sometimes partnering with them on new technology. “Our intent is to supply (material) to that customer, and if we validate together that's definitely the best way to do that,” the Dow official said. “It's encouraging where customers will deploy their resources to do those types of things with us.”

Billotto expects to see the trend toward water-based materials to continue. “It's being really aggressively looked at in the European segment, and we're seeing that start to cross-pollinate to North America as well,” he said. “Customers are definitely indicating their interest in it and validating robust water technology that performs the same as solvent-based.”

He said Dow Automotive is well-positioned to serve that side of the market with its Robond family of water-based adhesives.