Henkel opens composites test center in Japan

The Henkel Composite Lab, in Isogo-ku, will allow automotive suppliers to develop and test production-ready composite materials and manufacturing processes.

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Henkel Corp. (Düsseldorf, Germany) has opened a new test facility for composites in Japan. The Composite Lab in Isogo-ku, Yokohama, will allow automotive customers from across Asia to team up with Henkel experts to develop and test composite parts, and to establish the best process conditions to help make ideas ready for market.

At the Composite Lab, automotive customers can work with Henkel experts to develop and test composite parts, and also optimize series production process conditions. They can carry out trials with different test molds on Henkel’s own high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) equipment. The HP-RTM machine includes a 380-ton press for trials close to series production conditions. Henkel also opened a Composite Lab in Heidelberg, Germany, last year.

Frank Kerstan, global program manager automotive Composites, says, “We are very proud to have this new state-of-the-art test center in Asia. As vehicle manufacturers worldwide look to reduce weight in cars and trucks to help boost fuel economy and reduce emissions, they are having to set aside the mindset that has dictated traditional material and process choices, and look at new and emerging technologies. Both our Composite Labs offer OEMs and Tier One suppliers the opportunity to work together with our experts to learn first-hand what the options and possibilities may be for using advanced composite materials with short production cycle times in their vehicles.”