Ensuring baggage reaches the right carrousel

Adhesives ensure that Heathrow’s complex new baggage handling operation runs smoothly

Heathrow’s latest Transfer Baggage System (TBS) uses fully automated `telecar’ transporters running through a complex underground tunnel network between the airport’s various terminals. Dunlop adhesives are playing a key role in the system which comprises individual telecars that are computer directed, destination coded vehicles, propelled at a variety of speeds on a track guidance network by electric motors mounted on guideways. Each telecar consists of a `bucket’ type seat made from GRP mounted on stainless steel frames at the back and underneath.

Efficient discharge of luggage from each bucket seat depends on a completely smooth surface, so at the time of manufacture its attachment to the steel frames is made with an epoxy adhesive. However, the nature of the system’s operation can result in damage of the adhesion of the telecars which leads to failure of the epoxy resin bond between the car seat and its steel frames.

The challenge was finding an adhesive that would not only bond the GRP to stainless steel, but also withstand the operational rigors of the TBS systems. In-depth research into the problem resulted in two products being suggested – one a polyurethane rubber adhesive and the other a flexible epoxy system.

Although both solutions proved successful in tests, eventually polyurethane-based Dunlop DP2246 was selected. The decision was based on easy application – it comes in a cartridge and is a single component system -and its gap filling advantages, as well as the tough but flexible bond it forms between the GRP and steel.

Norcross Adhesives Tel: 01782 591100