Adhesive assembles composite parts for new motorhome
In the motorhome industry, British manufacturer The Swift Group is well-known for two things. One is putting its materials, components and assembled models through rigorous testing. Another is unconventional design. Its engineers often incorporate elements they like from the other industries where they’ve worked, such as automotive and interior design.
A good example of Swift’s outside-the-box approach to design is the SMART HT caravan, which the company introduced in 2014 to commemorate its 50th anniversary. Bill Kirby, glass-reinforced-plastic (GRP) engineer at Swift, says the SMART HT is the first fully composite caravan without any timber and ply in the body. It also features unique aluminum jointing systems and floor construction.
Another example took place a year earlier during initial production of the Espirit motorhome. At that time, Swift was looking for a durable and reliable adhesive to bond the structural lips of a fuel filler cap made from GRP. The fuel filler is located on the side of the motorhome and is assembled without mechanical fasteners or fixings.
Swift had often worked with technicians at adhesive supplier Scigrip over the previous 3 years, so representatives from both companies met to discuss the application. After multiple meetings over the course of several months, Swift decided to specify Scigrip’s SG5000-06 adhesive.
A methyl methacrylate-based product with a 1-to-1 mix ratio, the high-viscosity adhesive does not sag and securely bonds GRP parts, metals and coated metals. It also cures quickly and requires minimal surface preparation.
“The bonding solution delivered on every level,” claims Kirby. “In terms of performance, SG5000 has completely eradicated the need for any fasteners in the bonding of our fuel filler caps. In terms of service, we are always assured of fresh supplies, short lead times and ample quantities of product whenever we need it.”
Founded in 1964 and based in Cottingham, East Riding of Yorkshire, The Swift Group also manufactures travel trailers and manufactured homes. Test procedures of all its products are extensive, beginning with making sure that all timber and wood parts meet Timber Research and Development Association specifications for durability.
Corrosion testing is done by independent test houses and involves exposing every surface and subcomponent on a vehicle to an aggressive saline spray. The house must issue a certificate of suitability before a component can be used.
As for endurance, Swift puts its vehicles through extensive testing at the well-known Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedford to quickly simulate 6 years of usage. The company subjects caravans to harsh curb strikes and cold chamber testing to optimize heating and thermal performance. It also measures dynamic load inputs, displacement vectors and vibrations.
Scigrip is a global supplier of methyl methacrylate, anaerobic, cyanoacrylate and UV-cure adhesives for bonding metal, thermoplastic and thermoset-composite substrates. The adhesives have a 10-to-1 or 1-to-1 mix ratio and contain low volatile organic compounds. All of its manufacturing facilities are ISO 9001 certified.
For more information on methyl methacrylate adhesives, call 877-477-4583 or visit www.scigrip.com.