Henkel has been selected by aerospace manufacturer Textron Aviation Inc. to provide its new high-impact surfacing film to help protect composite components against lightning strikes, the company said.
This film adhesive produces a 30% weight savings compared to other surfacing films, is resistant to UV waves to reduce the need for sanding and reworking before painting, and provides an excellent surface finish, enabling a flawless paint appearance. Textron Aviation is the first aerospace manufacturer to use the new material, which Henkel expects to be widely adopted in the industry.
Henkel´s surfacing film, LOCTITE EA 9845 LC AERO is a thin epoxy applied to an aircraft´s exterior to protect the composites, filling voids and pin holes and producing a smooth surface that can be easily painted. Since composites are non-metallic and cannot dissipate energy from lightning strikes, aircraft manufacturers historically have used a two-step process, first applying the adhesive layer and then adding a layer of copper or aluminum mesh to diffuse energy from lightning.
The new technology from Henkel transforms this two-step process into a single step that integrates the adhesive layer and copper mesh into one, ready-to-use film. The surfacing material reduces production time, eliminates waste from scrap mesh, and lowers costs.
Henkel operates globally, with three business units in both industrial and consumer businesses thanks to strong brands, innovations and technologies. It employs more than 50,000 people globally.