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Henkel introduces new pretreatment process in NA for increased aluminum content in vehicle manufacturing

Henkel Corporation’s automotive group has introduced the BONDERITE Flex Process in North America on the 2013 Ford F-150. The process enables a significant increase in aluminum content by replacing the traditional zinc phosphating process with a zirconium oxide pretreatment. The 2013 F-150 features an aluminum hood.

Once aluminum content on vehicles reaches approximately 30%, the use of zinc phosphate becomes more difficult to control and leads to an increase in sludge generation, Henkel said. Zirconium oxide offers a solution to those limitations.

Treating aluminum with zirconium oxide gives vehicle manufacturers the flexibility of processing up to 85% aluminum on vehicles, versus 25% with a conventional zinc phosphate coating. In addition to enabling an increase in the amount of aluminum used, zirconium oxide provides better corrosion protection and reduces sludge waste by two-thirds, resulting in significant environmental benefits.

—Manish Dave, Director, Surface Treatment, North America

The BONDERITE process is also used on the 2013 Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger, and Dodge Charger.


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