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Developing powder coatings for contact curing of structural adhesives for vehicle bonding applications

Final Report Summary - POWDERBOND (Developing powder coatings for contact curing of structural adhesives for vehicle bonding applications)

Executive Summary:
Executive Summary:
Adhesive bonding technologies are a substitute for joining processes such as welding which offer vehicle designers the potential to select from a wider range of lightweight materials for vehicle design and construction. The ability to use lightweight materials allows vehicles to maximise fuel efficiency.
Current adhesive bonding methods require an energy intensive oven cure process. Furthermore, oven curing has the potential to warp a chassis / vehicle constructed from dissimilar materials. If low energy manufacturing and lightweight construction is to be achieved novel bonding technologies that result in lighter, higher performance and more efficient vehicles with less energy used and lower costs of manufacture must be developed.
PowderBond will address the issue of having to oven cure adhesives by developing a 1K epoxy adhesive system that is designed to deliver on-demand curing at low temperature (<70°C). We will develop a low temperature cure powder coating (120°C) for primary structures (e.g. chassis components) which will deliver corrosion protection and the catalyst for initiating cure of the epoxy adhesive. The powder coating containing the catalyst will be pre-applied to one of the adherent surfaces (component parts) to be joined and supplied to the vehicle OEM. The 1K adhesive component will be applied to the second adherent surface prior to joining in-line with current adhesive assembly line methods. The PowderBond adhesive system will not require an oven cure at high temperature to achieve bond strength.
PowderBond will enable SME’s tier suppliers to add value to supplied components by helping vehicle manufacturers lower manufacturing carbon footprint and meet obligations regarding vehicle CO2 emission through light-weighting. This will help European SMEs to consolidate their position in the supply-chain and maintain a supply-chain opportunity for future vehicle design.

Project Context and Objectives:
Summary of Project Objectives:
The main objectives of the PowderBond project include: Developing a powder coating that will cure at 120°C, delivering a consistent powder coating topography with a surface roughness of 10-15 Ra, develop a catalyst system to survive the powder coat curing temperature, develop a 5-20µm thick layer of catalyst at the surface of the powder coating, develop a catalyst system that retains 80% of its catalytic activity post cure of the powder coat, develop a catalyst to achieve a depth of cure of 0.5mm through contact curing, develop a catalyst-resin system to deliver 15-30 N/mm2 shear strength, develop a resin-catalyst formulation to deliver a cure speed of 45 minutes, develop an adhesive viscosity to deliver uniform wetting and a peel strength of 4 N/mm2, develop an adhesive formulation with a 6 month shelf life, develop an adhesive-powder coat system with a peel strength of 4 N/mm2, a shear strength of 15-30 N/mm2 after 24 hours and a service temperature range of -40°C to +100°C.

Expected Project Results:
Result 1 - Resin adhesive formulations
Result 2 - Low temperature cure textured powder formulations
Result 3 - Magnesium and aluminium component designs
Result 4 - Plastics component designs
Result 5 - CFRP component designs
Result 6 - PowderBond Technology

Project Results:
Work Package WP1- Characterisation of contact cure resin-catalyst systems
(Refer to deliverable reports D1.1 and D1.2)

A novel contact cure chemistry has been identified and characterised. A lap shear strength of 7- 8 N/mm2 with a depth of cure of 0.5mm was achieved and the storage modulus was shown to increase significantly within the 45 minutes required fixing time at room temperature. The peak exotherm remained below 70°C. These results are in line with the MS1 and MS2 objectives. Further work remaining at the end of work package 1 includes optimising lap shear strength and improving speed of cure.
3.1.1 Key Objectives:
1. Research and testing of catalyst to achieve a depth of cure of 0.5mm through contact curing
2. Develop catalyst-resin systems to deliver 15-30 N/mm2 shear strength
3. Develop low temperature (70oC) catalyst-resin formulation to deliver handling (fixture time) cure time of 60 minutes

Tasks:
T1.1 Investigate low temperature contact cure chemistry
T1.2 Develop low temperature contact cure resin-catalyst formulation(s)
T1.3 Evaluate adhesive performance of low temperature cure catalyst-resin formulation
3.1.3 Achievements
Currently there is no resin-initiator system in the literature for frontal polymerisation of epoxies at room temperature. Thermal frontal polymerisation was identified as the most promising route for contact curing of epoxy resins. A low temperature contact cure resin-catalyst formulation was developed for use as the adhesive component in the PowderBond system. This adhesive system comprised of a mixture aliphatic and aromatic epoxy resin, a Lamoreaux catalyst (Pt in octanol), an onium salt and triethylsilane. This resin-catalyst system allowed contact curing of epoxies at room temperature up to an adhesive thickness layer of 500 µm. A lap shear strength of 7-8 N/mm2 was achieved. It was discovered that the speed of cure can be controlled with the concentration of Pt catalyst at the surface of the substrate.
Milestone 1: The catalyst candidate materials tested resulting in identification of appropriate catalyst given desired properties speed of cure (45 minutes) and depth of cure (0.5mm) at low temperatures (70oC). The cure speed needs to be optimised and will be assessed during WP3. The depth of cure at the required temperature was achieved.

Milestone 2: Resin identified which gives desired properties as an adhesive which can be cured at low temperature with a cure time of 45 minutes thus also delivering a lap shear strength of 15-30 N/mm2. The adhesive system does not currently meet the required lap shear strength but will be further optimised during WP3.

Comments: At the end of WP1 further work was required to optimise the system by improving the lap shear strength, testing on more substrates was required and the initiator concentration required optimising to shorter room temperature curing time.

Work Package WP2 – Development of the Catalyst-Powder Coat
(Refer also to Deliverable reports D2.1 and D2.2)

A low temperature powder coat has been identified. Three possible routes have been identified for incorporating a catalyst into this low temperature curing powder coat for subsequent contact curing of an adhesive during the bonding stage. Surface topography has been investigated. A number of methodologies have been identified for incorporating surface roughness into the powder coat to varying degrees and imparting surface roughness has been shown to improve bond strengths in terms of lap shear strength.

Key Objectives:
Develop powder coating that will cure at 120°C
Deliver a consistent powder coating topography//surface roughness of 10-15 Ra (inches)
Develop catalyst to survive a powder coat curing temperature of 120oC
Develop 5-20 µm thick coating of catalyst at the surface of the powder coating
Develop catalyst that retains 80% of its catalytic activity post cure of the powder coat

Tasks:
T2.1 Develop low temperature cure powder coating
T2.2 Development of surface topography
T2.3 Pre-treatment investigation
T2.4 Catalyst embedment and survival/stability in powder coating
T2.5 Develop catalyst migration to the powder coat surface
T2.6 Optimisation of catalyst activity

Achievements
Low temperature cure powder coating
A number of low temperature powder coats have been identified. There are commercially available low temperature powder coats (120-140°C cure) from one of the PowderBond partners, Valspar. As these have been proven in the field they have been included in the work plan. In addition low temperature powder coats (~70°C) have been identified and investigated. These are lower than specified in the DOW and may prove to lack the required wider properties for powder coats in the automotive industry, but have been included in the research plan as they offer significant benefits should they work. They may also offer an attractive alternative to the traditional powder coats in some applications even if their wider properties prove to be limited. This represents a deviation from the DOW, but is additional work rather than a tangent. The system is based on epoxy and relies on an amine cure for the powder coat. A number of epoxies have been selected for further investigation for both the traditional low temperature route and lower temperature route.
D2.1 describes the work to date on surface topography.

Development of Surface Topography
A number of routes to attaining a desired surface topography have been identified and surface roughness has been shown to provide improvements to lap shear strength. The actual range to be targeted needs to be decided on once the catalyst system has been confirmed as the surface roughness will need to be optimised for the specific system.
Corrective Actions:
1. In the DOW a range of 10-15 Ra (inches) was quoted as the specification. Firstly this specification is incorrect in the DOW as the units of inches must be in error. Units for surface roughness are typically µ inches or µm.
2. Secondly the surface roughness specification should be designed to give optimum bond strength. The assumption at the time of writing the DOW that this would be in the region of 10-15 µm (assumed that the specification should be µm not inches). However, the surface roughness is in itself, unimportant. It is important to determine the surface roughness that gives the optimum bond strength and that this surface roughness is reproducible. The specification and targets need further discussion with the partners. This will be a deviation to the DOW either in the units and/or the units and range quoted. The specification may be removed, with the target being to optimise surface roughness for optimum bond strength.

Pre-treatment Investigation
(Reported as Deliverable D2.3 on 31st January 2014).
1. Several commercially available, production-ready, pre-treatment systems were identified from test results as being suitable for use on the PowderBond project. The chemical pre-treatment being essential for adhesion of the powder coating to the metallic substrate, in order that this interface is not the weak point of the PowderBond technology.
2. Identified processes:
Chemetall X4707: Titanium/Zirconium based for aluminium and certain magnesium alloy substrates.
Chemetall Oxsilan: Silane based for multi metal application, but in particular mild steel substrates.
Chemetall X4729: Ceramic conversion coating for certain magnesium alloy substrates.
Keronite: Ceramic PEO conversion for magnesium and aluminium substrates.
3. These processes are all available with the consortium supply chain which will allow the processing of a wide variety of metallic substrates. Further test work and evaluation on bond strength, corrosion protection and other specific requirements will be conducted, once the catalyst containing, powder coatings have been developed.

Catalyst embedment and survival/stability in powder coating
The team has also successfully identified two other major routes in achieving the main objectives in investigating an embedded catalyst in the power coat. Please refer to the flow diagram 3.2.3.4 below which outlines the strategy of these three routes (designated as routes 1, 2 & 3).

Three main routes to investigating an embedded catalyst in the power coat:

1. Route one aims to build on IFAM’s work in WP1 and further the research into embedding a platinum catalyst into the powder coat which will migrate to the surface of the powder coat cured at 120-140°C. This route would provide a contact cure with the adhesive system developed in WP1 and optimised in WP2. Should this route be successful it would be a deviation from the DOW which describes an amine catalysed route.

2. Second route is more closely aligned with the DOW and proposes to investigate an amine catalysed route. Through literature surveys it is apparent that the most common route to offering protection to the catalyst during the powder coat cure is to use thermally blocked amines. The downside to this approach is that thermally blocked amines require an unblocking temperature much higher than the one it is blocked at. This will not be possible in the proposed PowderBond process. The partners are investigating amines that are incompatible with the powder coat formulation leading to protection during the powder coat curing stage. The hope is that these amines will favour the air/epoxy interface and hence migrate to the surface of the powder coat during cure. A reactive diluent will be introduced into the adhesive which will allow the amine to dissolve on contact with the adhesive and hence subsequent contact cure. An alternative amine route includes catalysts which are only reactive when water is present (ketimines).

3. The third route is to investigate low molecular weight epoxies which will easily allow migration of an amine during the powder coat cure and a subsequent cure with an amine containing adhesive. This work has been started and shown marginal success. This route is the less favoured route as it is suspected that the final powder coat properties will not meet the required standards. We will continue to investigate this route as a contingency plan as bonding has been achieved via this route showing a reasonable level of residual cure following adequate migration of the amine catalyst to the surface of the powder coat.

Affected deliverable:
Deliverable D2.2 was originally due in Month 10 (end of February 2014) and essentially describes the work carried out in WP2. However, this work package wasn’t due to end until Month 15 (i.e. continue for a further 5 months). The partners discussed whether they want to request that this deliverable report is delayed until the end of the work package or whether D2.2 is submitted as an interim report with an addition deliverable (D2.3) introduced at the end of the work package. An interim / draft copy of D2.2 was submitted in RP1.

Work Package WP3 – Development of the Adhesive Resin
(Refer also to Deliverable reports D3.1 D3.2 and D3.3)

An initiator system for contact curing of epoxy resins at room temperature has been identified. The initiator system contains three different chemical agents: a reduction agent, a catalyst and an initiator. For all three components different substances are tested and the most reactive ones are identified. This is true for resin combination of aliphatic-/aromatic-epichlorohydrin resins and for cycloaliphatic resins. Furthermore the influence of the concentration of the initiators components is investigated.
The contact curing of epoxy is until now not described in literature. Research on adhesive formulation suggests a need to move to new epoxy adhesive technology and adhesive chemistry.

Key Objectives:
Develop adhesive technology to deliver shear strength of 15 – 30 N/mm² after 24 hours
Develop adhesive viscosity to deliver wetting and peel strength of 4 N/mm at the bond interface
Develop 1K adhesive formulation with a 6 month working life

Tasks:
T3.1 Develop adhesive technology
T3.2 Formulate resin system to deliver a 6-month storage
T3.3 Optimise adhesion and mechanical property of the adhesive resin
T3.4 Optimise adhesive viscosity

Results:
Contact curing of epoxy resins over an adhesive bonding line thickness of 500 µm
Fixture bond strength within 45 min
The investigations were done with two different classes of epoxy resins. With both systems a contact curing is possible by using a suitable initiator combination.
The initiators are optimised according to the combination and concentration for rapid fixture bond strength within 45 minutes. Furthermore the concentration of platinum catalyst at substrate surface for contact curing over a bond line thickness of 500 µm is determined.
These results allow formulating an adhesive with a long opening time at room temperature and a fast time to fixture bonding strength at the same time.

Deviation:
Both classes of epoxy resins investigated initially showed no lap-shear-strength of 15 – 30 N/mm² (at aluminium 99.5) in RP1. To improve the lap-shear-strength and reach the objective different epoxy resins were investigated. The influence of different fillers on to the lap-shear-strength was studied and a number of adhesion promoters were tested. Furthermore different substrates from the consortium (with the original pre-treatment) were also tested.
The investigations concerning 6 month storage stability were not completed in RP1 but were continued in RP2. The initiator was optimised to get a reaction system with a short fixture bonding time of 45 minutes at room temperature. To get this result very reactive resin systems were needed. To achieve 6 month storage stability at room temperature (which is also the reaction temperature of the resin) a very slow reactivity is needed. These two conflicting requirements were solved by a very fine-tuning of the initiator composition.
Due to the fact that there are three components in the initiator system, the work to optimise the reaction system proved to be much more time consuming than optimising a formulation with one initiator. Additional working with different class of epoxy resins (aliphatic/aromatic/cycloaliphatic) multiplied the effort. At the end of project there is a good basis of knowledge for formulating different adhesives for different requirements.
The works to characterise and optimise the mechanical properties and the adhesive viscosity have been completed.

Work Package WP4: Development of adhesive-powder coat compatibility
(Refer also to Deliverable reports D4.1 & D4.2)

Key Objectives:
1. Develop a peel strength of 4 N/mm2 at the bond interface with powder coated substrates
2. Develop a shear strength of 15-30 N/mm2 after 24 hours
3. Develop a service temperature range of -40°C to +100°C

Tasks:
T4.1 Evaluate compatibility of resin-catalyst and catalyst-powder coat
T4.2 Evaluate chemical adhesion between adhesive and powder coat
T4.3 Evaluation of the PowderBond adhesive technology
T4.4 Optimisation of the PowderBond technology

Achievements:
The Pt (II) (cod) Cl2 was considered to be the best catalyst as it had the fastest curing reaction within the redox initiator system. To achieve a fixture bond within 45 minutes it was found that 1.8 g/m2 Pt (II) (cod) Cl2 was required.
Contact curing of epoxy resins at a layer thickness of 500 µm is possible for an adhesive only system, with the platinum catalyst on one substrate surface. A total depth of contact cure of 500 µm is possible using the ‘Master Batch’ adhesive (described in detail in D4.1) provided that both surfaces are powder coated and both contain platinum catalyst.
It was ascertained that 0.03 g/m² of Pt (II) (cod) Cl2 is sufficient to get a conversion of about 95 % within 3 hours over an adhesive layer thickness of 500 µm.
0.3% Pt (II) (cod) Cl2 modification of the powder coat was sufficient to give half lap shear bond strengths in excess of 15 N/mm2.
An Adhesive formulation with an initiator concentration of 0.5% and a concentration of silane of 1.5% needs to be stored at 10°C to give a storage stability of 6 months. To get a storage stability of 6 months at room temperature the OPPI initiator concentration must be lowered to 0.12 wt.%.
Lap shear bond strengths can be improved by the use of adhesion promoters. Deolink Epoxy TM-100 was selected as it gave the best overall performance.
The initiator can initiate the curing reaction of different types of epoxy resins including mixed epoxy systems (e.g. Bisphenol-A, Bisphenol-F or Formaldehyde resin) but a certain amount of aliphatic epoxy is required for successful curing. Several aliphatic epoxy resins can be used but the best results were achieved with a 50/50 ratio of aliphatic to aromatic epoxy resin. 1, 6-Hexanediol diglycidyl ether was chosen as the aliphatic resin and D.E.R. 354 or Epikote 862 (Bisphenol F type) was selected as the aromatic epoxy resin.
The epoxy resin formulation modified with Genioperl P52 helps to increase the viscosity of the adhesive and improve handleability.
The SpeedMixer was able to mimic the industrial process and produce similar results to the extruder at Valspar.
A commercially available low temperature curing epoxy/polyester hybrid (Valspar) modified with platinum catalyst was found to be suitable for use as the powder coat.
With the addition of a texturing agent to the powder coat it was possible to reduce the amount of catalyst to 0.15% and still achieve bond strengths of 18 ± 1.0 N/mm2.
The platinum catalyst embedded in the powder coat survives the powder coat curing process up to 180°C and the best bond strengths are obtained where both substrates are powder coated, although it is only necessary for one to contain the Pt catalyst.

3.5 Work Package WP5: Validation and Testing
(Refer also to Deliverable reports D5.1 D5.2 D5.3 & D5.4)
3.5.1 Key Objectives:
1. Develop test model to predict service-life performance over a 20-year span for case-study components
2. Deliver peel strength of 4 N/mm at the bond interface
3. Develop a shear strength of 15-30 N/mm2 after 24 hrs
4. Develop a service temperature range of -40ºC to +100ºC

Tasks:
T5.1 Service-life prediction
T5.2 Non-destructive testing of PowderBond adhesive performance
T5.3 Evaluate PowderBond adhesive performance using case studies
3.5.3 Achievements:

The Metal (Aluminium) substrate used for the Validation and Testing reported in Deliverable report D5.1 was ‘NG5754’ (supplied by Powdertech). The Steel substrate used was ‘S275’ (supplied by JCB).

The loss of half lap shear bond strength with temperature was confirmed for both NG5754 and S275 after previous work (Deliverable report D4.2) was repeated. Once again, there is a rapid reduction in the bond strength of the joints evaluated at 80°C compared to -40°C and 23°C regardless whether the substrate used was steel or aluminium. Consequently, the current adhesive’s service temperature range is limited to ambient and below.
NG5754 bonded coupons, when exposed to an environmental cycle for 22 days, showed only an 18% reduction in bond strength and also showed no evidence of loss in bond strength when exposed to a thermal cycle for 10 days. They also showed no evidence of loss in bond strength when exposed to a moisture intrusion cycle for 10 days.
NG5754 bonded coupons exposed to the Arizona Proving Ground Equivalent (APGE) test showed only a small overall loss of 19.5% in bond strength over the 30 day period of the test and examples exposed to low frequency, low amplitude stress cycles of up to 10,000 cycles showed little loss in bond strength over the 30 day period of the APGE test.
NG5754 bonded coupons exposed to low frequency, high amplitude stress cycles showed rapid failure in bond strengths after only a small number of cycles (< 100 cycles). High frequency cyclic stress testing (test frequency = 15 Hz) has shown that for amplitude stress levels of 30% (of static stress) or lower, the discontinue limit of 2,000,000 cycles was reached without failure of the joint under test. For all those samples that failed during the high frequency cyclic fatigue testing, the failure mode was found to be cohesive failure.
A number of non-destructive techniques were employed to assess the quality of the bond formed on parts joined with the PowderBond technology.
Hardness measurements were shown to be able to determine whether the adhesive had cured but nano-indentation methods need to be used due to the dimensions of the bond line. This technique may not be a suitable on line measurement method as the equipment is sensitive to the environment and requires good access to the bond which will not always be practical. At best only the air interface portion of the bond will be able to be assessed with this equipment.
Microscopy had similar limitations in terms of physical access to the bond and was only able to give an indication of bond line fill at the visible edges. However this technique enables a very accurate measurement of the adhesive thickness at the exposed edge of the joint. Macro defects were observable, but again the depth of penetration was low.
Following a literature review ultrasonic testing was identified as the preferred technique to give the most qualitative information about characterising adhesively bonded joints. There is much published research on the use of ultrasonic techniques to perform NDT testing. The technique is capable of reviewing the whole bond area through the adhered, measuring the thickness of the adhesive, identifying the size, shape and occurrence of defects as well as determining the degree of cure of the adhesive. However, the geometry of the part still limits the application of this method. Although access is not specifically required to both sides of the bond, use of pulsed echo techniques negates this requirement, the technique is best suited to flat surfaces and differentiation between the adhesive and the substrate is more difficult than first thought. A large number of calibration standards are required to obtain reliable quantifiable results to characterise the bond and the technique requires skilled operators to generate and interpret the data.

Two components were selected to test the PowderBond technology. A carbon fibre reinforced air duct was bonded but showed inconsistent cure of the adhesive leading to a low bonding strength.
An aluminium B pillar was successfully bonded using the PowderBond system. This part was subjected to a three point bend test and withstood 15kN of force before the bond was broken. The failure mode was predominantly cohesive failure of the adhesive which is the desired mode of failure. The technology has been shown to be capable of bonding a variety of dissimilar materials with the bond strength often exceeding the tensile strength of the material when bonding plastics.

A number of areas were identified to improve both the application and in service performance of the bond,
1. Adhesive viscosity – the low viscosity is good for surface wetting but the lack of thixotropy meant the adhesive would not stay on surfaces which were not horizontal. The lack of wet tack also made part placement difficult. Additionally the low thixotropy meant the part had to be jigged to maintain the bonding face in a horizontal position during curing. A formulation fix was demonstrated to allow the adhesive to be applied to vertical faces.
2. Adhesive porosity – the adhesive generated porosity during curing which reduced the bond strength. Degassing the adhesive prior to use and careful selection of low vapour pressure ingredients is recommended to minimise bubble formation.
3. Adhesion of the powder coating – a further improvement in bond strength could be realised by improving the adhesion of the coating to the substrate.
4. Control of bond line thickness – controlling the thickness between minimum and maximum limits will optimise the strength. Incorporation of spacer fillers into the adhesive, the use of spacers in critical areas of the bond line and tuning the viscosity will all assist in producing a more consistent adhesive thickness.
5. A reliable test method to determine the degree of cure of the adhesive across the whole bond area is required. Ultrasonic measurements can accomplish this task with the requisite pre-work and calibration standards.

Potential Impact:
Economic Incentives:
PowderBond is aimed at SME tier-2 suppliers to the automotive and ACE vehicle markets. These suppliers will develop the components needed by tier-1 suppliers to manufacture sub-assemblies for vehicle OEMs and/or direct consumption as components by vehicle OEMs.
Environmental Impacts:
With the advanced manufacturing methods that the PowderBond process will allow, along with the reduction in gas oven cure requirements for both the powder cure and subsequent manufacturing operations the reduction in CO₂ emissions will be significant. For each kWh of energy saved within these processes we will see a reduction in CO₂ of 0.1836kg.
A typical powder coating plant uses approximately 170,000 kWh of gas per month. Converting to PowderBond would reduce this by a conservative estimate of 25% due to the low temperature cure.
This is a reduction of 42,500 kWh per manufacturing site a month, resulting in an annual CO₂ reduction of 93,636kg. This will be multiplied by the number of plants applying the process on a global scale (Data taken from the average actual gas use by Powdertech in 2012). The second and perhaps more significant area of CO2 reduction will be within the lifecycle of the vehicle itself. For every kg of weight reduction achieved on a passenger car, the lifecycle benefit in CO2 reduction is 16kg. (Calculated using ISO 14040/44 by Jaguar Landrover)
If we can save a conservative 10kg per vehicle in weight, we reduce CO₂ produced by 160kg. This is multiplied then by the number of vehicles produced. For a single model with a production level running at 150,000 per year over its 7 year production cycle the CO₂ reduction achieved would be 16,800,000kg. The total estimated CO₂ reduction in the production and use of a single model passenger car can then be multiplied by the number of models that adopt the technology on a global scale.
Innovation Impacts:
PowderBond will develop a low temperature (<70ºC) cure adhesive bonding technology based on epoxy resin chemistry. This will enable vehicle OEMs to reduce the temperature at which the vehicles are oven cured. This will enable lightweight materials such as CFRP and Magnesium to be used without fear of warping of components / sub-assemblies due to thermal mismatch. By overcoming the issue of warping PowderBond will promote the use of lightweight materials in vehicle body design enabling vehicle OEMs to meet directives and legislation governing CO2 emission, fuel efficiency etc.
Community & Societal Benefits:
Employment Opportunities: PowderBond will safeguard jobs by ensuring that automotive tier supplies provide added-value to their components and therefore continue to manufacture and supply within Europe. This is critical given the significant price advantage the BRIC countries have over European manufacturing. With automotive vehicle and equipment manufacturers’ alone account for 7% of total EU manufacturing employment; effectively 2 million Europeans directly employed with an additional 10 million indirectly employed jobs in both large companies and SMEs. Hence, the potential for safeguarding jobs within Europe is significant. PowderBond objectives align with the CARS 21 imitative which looks to enhance competitiveness and employment within the European automotive industry.

Contact: Mr. Stuart Corstorphine, Powdertech Ltd
Stuart.C@powdertech.co.uk