Automotive: PPG sets up adhesives research facility in Ohio; Afton opens expanded facility in Japan

PPG sets up adhesives research facility in Ohio

US structural adhesives firm PPG has invested in a 2,100-sq-ft automotive adhesives and sealants laboratory on the company’s existing 42-acre manufacturing and research complex in Cleveland, Ohio. The facility, which was recently completed, will focus on developing and testing structural adhesives, sealants and related products for passenger cars, light trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles. PPG says it will also use the new lab to continue development of next-generation coatings for lithium-ion battery cells, modules and packs used in battery-electric and autonomous vehicles.

The new lab includes equipment for testing product strength, flexibility, adhesion and sound-dampening characteristics of PPG products used by several leading global original equipment manufacturers (OEM).

PPG’s Corabond adhesives enable vehicle manufacturers to achieve significant cost and weight savings by effectively and reliably joining an array of dissimilar materials without the need for expensive welds. The company also offers a broad portfolio of specialised sealants that support auto and truck makers’ light weighting strategies and help enhance vehicles’ functional performance and durability.

“There is a tremendous amount of science in every paint layer on a modern passenger vehicle or commercial truck,” said Gary Bennett, PPG General Manager, adhesives and sealants, automotive OEM coatings. “With this impressive new facility, PPG continues to invest in advanced research and manufacturing capabilities that benefit vehicle manufacturers, battery and component suppliers and, above all, consumers.”

PPG’s automotive adhesive and sealant technologies are also able to serve a variety of electric vehicle battery pack needs, including sealing of pack shells and components, fixing of cells and modules into packs, structural reinforcement, impact resistance, and thermal management.

The Cleveland, Ohio, facility is PPG’s flagship manufacturing facility for automotive OEM coatings. Situated in the city’s West Park area, the plant has been an integral part of PPG since its acquisition in 1947 from the Forbes Varnish Company, which began operations in 1907. In addition to using advanced manufacturing methods to produce and ship its products, the Cleveland facility is the site of a field service laboratory equipped with the same application and curing equipment used by its customers.

Afton opens expanded facility in Japan

Meanwhile, in other news, lubricant and fuel additives supplier Afton Chemical Corporation, a company of NewMarket Corporation, has completed its Japan Technology Centre expansion in Tsukuba.

The investment provides an expansion of the analytical and mechanical laboratories to increase lubricant additive testing capabilities. This includes standardised and bespoke tests for transmission fluids, gear lubricants, passenger cars, motorcycles, commercial and off-road vehicles engine oils as well as industrial hydraulic oils. The expanded facility will provide its customers with enhanced technical services such as sample blending, physical/chemical analysis and performance testing that comply with international and Japan unique test methods like ASTM, JIS, JPI, JASO and JCMAS.

“The expanded Japan Technology Centre with its integrated technical support and performance testing will further enhance our ability to provide quick and effective solutions to our customers in Asia, and will provide customised solutions 'Made For' key Japan OEM projects,” said Mrs. Regina A. Harm, President of Afton.

The expanded capabilities of the Japan Technology Centre, with its integrated technical support, will enhance our capability to help customers: perform validation tests that comply with OEM, industry standards and specifications; develop Afton proprietary tests that focus on the needs of Asia Pacific and support and deliver their differentiated product performance claims promptly.

With the Japanese government’s recent announcement further reducing the average vehicle fuel economy standards by 32% by 2030, Japanese automobile manufacturers will have to sell more electric and hybrid cars.

“EV and Hybrid vehicles are equipped with transmission like CVT, one-shift ATF as well as gear and bearing to transfer and assist motor torque to wheels. Ultra-low viscosity oil is one of the solutions to lower fuel economy. Afton is working proactively with key OEMs worldwide to develop the technology and lubricant needs for electric/hybrid vehicles. Afton is ready and will have the most advanced additives to meet these new requirements. Our additives will continue to help the automotive industry reduce emissions, improve fuel economy, and extend the useful life of fluids and equipment,” said Togawa Takayuki, R&D Group Lead.

The centre’s chemistry and mechanical laboratories operate with lean processes and tests run are in full compliance with ISO 9001/14001 safety, environmental and quality standards; and houses a team of 17 R&D managers, formulators, technologists, technician and administration staff, increasing the workforce by 100% since the last decade.

Afton also has R&D facilities in the US, China, India, Japan and the UK.


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