Greener Vehicles Start With Sika

The need to reduce weight, improve fuel efficiency, utilize “greener” energy sources, and reduce pollutant emissions has never been more critical and Sika is a key partner in these efforts to automakers around the world.

SikaReinforcer®, for example, is used for structural reinforcement of cavities and for crash reinforcing. By absorbing the impact energy, or redistributing it in an optimal way, SikaReinforcer® improves crash performance and adds stiffness to the car body. This allows engineers to reduce the thickness of the sheet metal and eliminate steel reinforcement plates, which leads to lower weight and lower fuel consumption.

During an analysis, which compared SikaReinforcer® technology to a steel benchmark, two key benefits were identified:

  1. Fewer weld points – while the steel part needs to be welded, the SikaReinforcer does not.
  2. Lower carbon footprint – when carbon footprint benefits were calculated from the use of fewer raw materials (5 kg steel versus 2 kg SikaReinforcer®), fewer welding points, and lower emissions due to reduced fuel consumption during the vehicle’s operation lifetime, the Sika solution delivered a net reduction of approximately 19 kg CO₂ per vehicle.

For glass bonding, our innovative pre-treatments simplify application and increase work performance and quality. In a recent study, which compared our Sika® Aktivator PRO transparent bonding agent to a more common black primer, Sika® Aktivator PRO was shown to have a lower carbon footprint per kg and per application. The net reduction gained from using the Sika® Aktivator PRO could potentially reach up to 160 tons CO₂-eq. per year.

Our SikaPower® crash-resistant structural adhesives increase passenger safety, improve car stiffness, reduce costs and simplify the manufacturing process. They can also contribute to lightweighting by reducing the number of weld points required during bonding. In a recent analysis, which used a premium segment car model, two different setups were analyzed; one representing the typical production car, the other an optimized body with fewer welding points and thinner metal sheets. Both cars achieved the stiffness and crash requirements but with SikaPower® adhesives, 1,000 welding points and 30 kg of weight were eliminated. The weight reduction also leads to lower fuel consumption.