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UH Racing, Hertfordshire University’s Formula Student race team, has benefited from the use of Henkel’s LOCTITE brand of engineering adhesive products. UH Racing, which is based at the university’s School of Engineering & Technology in Hatfield, said that the use of LOCTITE for structural bonding provides a lightweight solution with uniform strength — two primary ingredients for success in any motor-racing format.

Over the years, UH Racing has produced 17 combustion-powered cars, along with others that ran on alternative fuels such as electricity and hydrogen. According to Dr Howard Ash, senior lecturer, the whole Henkel team has been very supportive by visiting the students at Hatfield and delivering presentations on the use of LOCTITE products. 

Despite previous success, the 2014 car (UR17) saw the UH Racing team take a different approach. This year, the team not only increased the size of the aerodynamics package but also downsized to a single-cylinder, 450cc engine (from four-cylinder, 599cc in 2013), which is less powerful but lighter. However, according to Ash, one of the unforeseen factors this introduced was a modicum of vibration issues.

Despite the battle against vibration, at the UK leg of Formula Student 2014, UH Racing still managed to finish 17th out of more than 100 teams. 

Key application details

  • LOCTITE is used for bonding honeycomb panels into the steel space frame chassis upon which the driver’s seat sits. Ash said that structural bonding with LOCTITE provides a lightweight solution.
  • As there are no fasteners, the joins are invisible, and the adhesive offers uniform strength as it can be applied around the entire perimeter of the parts.
  • Other successful LOCTITE applications for UH Racing include the bonding together of end plates, which comprise upper and lower skins with a honeycomb core. These are then bonded to the car’s carbon-fibre wings. Carbon spars, which run the width of the wings, are also bonded into place.
  • Aluminium inserts are bonded into composite track rods (carbon filament wound tubes) on the suspension.
  • Additional uses for LOCTITE adhesives include sealing the outer engine cover.

Henkel is the world market leader in state-of-the-art industrial adhesives, sealants and surface treatment products for a wide variety of engineering applications. Its leading brands for the industrial market are Loctite, Bonderite, Teroson, Aquence and Technomelt.

Strong customer focus, research and innovation, consistent quality and sustainable business practices have contributed to its record of success, as has continuous improvement in both its products and methods of manufacture.

The company applies its expertise to the entire value chain across the engineering sector. Whatever you build, manufacture, assemble or repair, its technical consultancy service will provide all the assistance and training you need to ensure you have the best product and the skill to apply to its best advantage.

Henkel brands are internationally renowned for their proven reliability and performance and the scope of the company’s product programme extends from cleaning and pre-treatment through to bonding, sealing, filling and protecting, coating and lubricating. 

Henkel is the only adhesive manufacturer to offer a comprehensive range of products that are hazard-label free. Its Loctite Health and Safety series is suitable for the lion’s share of engineering applications and includes thread lockers, thread sealants, gasketing adhesives, retaining compounds and instant adhesives.

As both the product and its method of application dictate the quality of process, Henkel also has considerable expertise in the supply of dedicated dispensing equipment that, if necessary, can be bespoke to the application. This equipment ensures the product is applied quickly, cleanly, accurately and economically.

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