Sticky Little Secrets About Your Car


How much do you know about the assembly of modern vehicles?

Considering you likely spent your formative years tinkering under the bonnet of a beat up Vauxhall Nova, installing superfluous K&N air filters and attempting to tack on an exhaust with an outlet bigger than your head, you probably reckon you know a lot …

… but forget everything you thought you knew.

While you knock back a beer in your garage and moan about how they “don’t make ‘em like they used to”, you’re no doubt imagining major motor manufacturers assembling an army of dead-eyed robots to weld and hammer the modern auto into place.

Not quite.

Although the majority of cars are made in this way, ahead of the curve manufacturers are beginning to use glue to bond some parts of a vehicle together. If this has made you spit out your beer in a fizz, there’s no need to fret.

Dedicated Adhesives

It may sound irresponsible to hold a vehicle capable of hitting 200mph together with glue, but this isn’t the type of adhesive you’d find in B&Q or be able to pick up in your local hardware store. No, my friend, this is very different.

In fact, these kinds of specialist adhesives – for instance, a vinyl floor adhesive for the interior – are often made especially for the automotive industry, formulated and engineered to withstand the pressures of modern motoring.

But why?

In part, it’s to make vehicles lighter and more economical – both for drivers and to cut down the car’s impact on the environment. What’s more, with rigorous fuel economy requirements in place, it’s become more crucial than ever for manufacturers to move with the times.

Good News for Adhesive Suppliers

Adhesive suppliers the world over are rubbing their hands with glee – and with good reason. According to reports, the global market for the structural adhesives used in a variety of vehicles will top $2bn in 2015.

What’s more, Steve Henderson, president of Dow’s automotive unit has been quoted as saying: “Bonding [with adhesives] is the new welding.” Of course, this is because aluminium is difficult to weld to steel, but can be glued fairly easily.

Additionally, adhesives are also used to glue the engines of cars, with intake manifolds, valve covers and oil pans attached using just a few bolts and an adhesive material, which works by forming an airtight gasket or seal.
Now it’s over to you …

Would you feel comfortable driving a car now you know many of its parts are glued together? Perhaps it makes you feel safer? Whatever way you look at it, we want to hear from you, so leave your comments below.