Dow’s structural adhesives, bonding, and sealing solutions were critical in accommodating the design requirements for the taxi’s new lightweight aluminum body structure.
“Dow’s high performance solutions contributed to achieving a lightweight bonded extruded aluminium monocoque body-in-white and also eliminated the need for mechanical fasteners,” said Christophe Van Herreweghe, Marketing Manager, Adhesives at Dow Automotive Systems. “The result is a fully-bonded body structure that is stronger and significantly lighter than an equivalent steel construction. In addition to increased safety for the occupants, the weight savings can also contribute to greater autonomy when in electric mode.”
The adhesive selection and application design of the new vehicles was guided by Antala, a technical and chemical specialist and a longstanding Dow Automotive distributor in the UK and Ireland.
“Our technical experts supported LEVC in the design of the new cabs, supplying comprehensive solutions, and also in optimizing the efficiency and reliability of the manufacturing processes,” said Richard Wollaston, Technical Account Manager at Antala UK.
The car body was bonded with Dow’s cutting edge Betamate and Betaforce structural adhesives systems, enhancing the flexibility and safety of the design and sealing the hard to weld substrates against environmental conditions. Betaseal bonding solutions used for the glass bonding applications in the vehicles are compatible with all vehicle production processes, including cold- and warm-applied systems and meet OEM durability specifications as well as international vehicle safety standards.
Betafill seam sealants offer permanent elasticity and good adhesion properties for a variety of substrates, making them ideal for manufacturing and repair applications such as panel sealing, gap filling and finishing, and helping to prevent moisture intrusion that can lead to corrosion. The sealants also provide acoustical and thermal management benefits.
The taxis were designed with the new zero emission capable regulations in mind and are manufactured at LEVC’s new £325 million plant outside Coventry – the first new automotive manufacturing facility in the UK for over a decade and the first plant in the UK dedicated to electric vehicle production.
The new TX offers a comfortable ride with seating for six, forward facing wheelchair access, air conditioning, power sockets for laptops, on-board Wi-Fi, phone charging facilities and an expansive panoramic roof. Active and passive safety systems are standard. The taxi can travel up to 80 miles on a single battery charge and is also fitted with a 1.5-litre petrol engine to assist with longer journeys – taking the vehicle’s range up to 377 miles.
LEVC expects to deliver new TX models in Europe later in 2018 – and subsequently across the world. Dow’s full range of aftermarket solutions will be used by LEVC in London and Dow and Antala are already working with LEVC on the design of the next generation of electric vehicles that will be Euro-6 compliant and deliver further emissions reductions.
Companies: Transportation & Industrial
Industries: Automotive and Road Transportation