Adhesive Performance Improvements for Light Weighting Initiatives

NCMS Project #: 142040

Problem: Lightweight materials like aluminum, composites, and magnesium alloys cannot be fastened in the same way as traditional metals.  Both the new materials and their joints must ensure adhesion, protection, appearance, and performance.  As the use of adhesives increases throughout the commercial industry, maintenance activities become increasingly complicated which often leads to delays in making repairs and returning assets to service.

Benefit: Understanding the performance of various adhesive systems relative to the variety of substrates available will be beneficial to both the military and the public transportation sector as it will lead to better combinations of materials for more reliable performance and strength of structural adhesively bonded joints. 

Solution/Approach: As dissimilar material joining in the public transportation sector and commercial industry increases, so does the need to understand the different behaviors that adhesive systems will exhibit across the wide variety of substrate possibilities, and the maintenance and sustainment implications that will inevitably result from the application of these technologies.  Investigating the best way to join dissimilar materials using adhesives, how to cure the joints without special equipment, and improving the overall durability of the joint is paramount to exploit these technologies across a broad spectrum of applications.  This initiative will investigate solutions for these technologies.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Insight into which adhesive system can be used in structural joining applications 
  • Effective adhesive that cures at ambient temperatures 
  • Reduce maintenance and sustainment costs 
  • Minimize weight of future ground vehicle platforms and increase fuel efficiency 

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Army Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC)
  • Army Research Lab (ARL)

Industry Participation:

  • PPG Industries, Inc.
  • Oakland University
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Repair turn-around time
  • Maintenance avoidance and reliability
  • Positive environmental impact
  • Maintenance management improvement
  • Improved readiness
  • Energy efficiency
  • Durability
  • Reliability improvement
  • Lightweighting

Focus Area:

  • Repair development