Henkel, Benteler making composite leaf springs for Volvo
Laundry and personal care products-to-reactive polyurethane systems company, Henkel A.G. and automotive composites firm Benteler S.G.L. are supplying polyurethane composite leaf springs to the Volvo S90 and V90 following their introduction on the XC90 crossover SUV.
Henkel's Loctite Max2 two-component polyurethane composite matrix resin system is being used to produce the leaf springs produced by Benteler SGL using high-speed resin transfer molding.
Total volumes could reach 200,000 units per year by the end of 2017, Henkel suggests.
The polyurethane matrix system was chosen because it produces a spring which is 4.5 kilograms lighter than the steel coil springs previously used in the cars. Additionally, the firm says the leaf spring provides a smoother ride with lower noise and less vibration.
A further benefit of the springs is that they are designed to be flat, Henkel said. As a result, they do not protrude into the trunk, leaving more space for luggage.
Henkel says its Max2 material has low viscosity, enabling it to rapidly fill the mold and impregnate the fiber preform without disturbing positioning. The material also has a high cure rate which is substantially faster than epoxy resins, adding to the speed of production.
Frank Kerstan, Henkel's global program manager automotive composites said "together with Benteler SGL, Henkel is very proud of this composite innovation and the fact that we now have a lightweight technology implemented in three Volvo models."