Corp.s automotive group has introduced a new pretreatment
process in North America that will allow more aluminum to be
used in cars and trucks, the company said.
Henkels Bonderite Flex
Process made its North American production debut on the 2013
Ford F-150, which features an all-aluminum hood, German parent
Henkel AG & Co. KGaA said April 16.
The process replaces traditional
zinc phosphating processes with a zirconium oxide pretreatment,
which enables a "significant increase in aluminum content."
Zinc phosphate becomes more difficult to control after aluminum
content on a car or truck hits approximately 30 percent, Henkel
said, noting that zirconium oxides dont have the same
"Treating aluminum with
zirconium oxide gives vehicle manufacturers the flexibility of
processing up to 85 percent of aluminum on vehicles vs. 25
percent with conventional zinc phosphate coating," Manish Dave,
director of surface treatment for Henkels North American
automotive group, said in a statement.
The technology is being used at
Ford Motor Co.s Dearborn, Mich., assembly plant and at
Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Chrysler Group LLCs plant in
Brampton, Ontario. Approval programs are also under way with
General Motors Co., Detroit, with the process expected to be
introduced at one of the automakers plants by the third
or fourth quarter, Terry Giles, Henkels business
development manager for metal pretreatment, said.
"Everybody wants to meet their
fuel requirements," he said of stricter government standards
for emissions and fuel economy. "And everyone is talking about
increasing their aluminum usage in the next three to four