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Case Study: DuPont Lightweight Bonding Solutions for Luxury SUV Design

Explore DuPont's strong, tough, and lightweight adhesive solutions for Aston Martin’s first SUV.

Table of Contents

The DBX marked the first venture outside traditional sports cars for luxury British car manufacturer Aston Martin. Representing a first in the brand’s 107-year history, Aston Martin’s engineers relied on DuPont lightweight bonding solutions when crafting their new dynamic SUV.

DuPont Bonding Solutions

Project

High performance is synonymous with the Aston Martin name, and despite deviating from their usual build type, the DBX boasts all the performance power you’d expect from an Aston Martin vehicle. The body has a fully-bonded aluminium structure supported by DuPont expertise and solutions to reach maximum performance. As with all Aston Martin cars, BETAMATE™ and BETASEAL™ adhesives were critical for creating a body structure for the DBX that’s not just strong but ultra-lightweight. 

Challenges

DuPont has supplied Aston Martin with structural adhesive solutions for over 25 years. However, the DBX provided a set of new challenges.

Bonding dissimilar materials

Dissimilar substrates feature throughout the DBX’s design, including electro-coated aluminium and steel; anodised aluminium extrusions, castings, and sheet; carbon fibre and glass-fibre-reinforced composites, plus glass bonding applications. 

Curing at the speed of production

Processability was crucial for the production of the DBX. BETAMATE™ and BETASEAL™ adhesive solutions are needed to meet a wide range of open- and cure-time requirements to ensure manufacturing efficiency.

Training and education

An all-new production technology centre opened in St. Athan, Wales, where Aston Martin converted three former military hangars into a state-of-the-art production facility. DuPont worked closely with Aston Martin engineers to solidify their understanding of how BETAMATE™ and BETASEAL™ adhesives work with new robotic application equipment. DuPont also supported the training and education of operators working with the materials for the first time.

Bonding solutions

The long-standing technical relationship between DuPont and Aston Martin – alongside DuPont’s proven ability to formulate the perfect adhesive solutions to meet Aston Martin’s needs – means that the DBX is another structural and elastic bonding success story born from this partnership. 

The DBX contains 23kg of DuPont lightweight bonding solutions, of which 15kg is structural bonding alone, the equivalent of 277 metres of applied adhesives. In performance terms, BETAMATE™ and BETASEAL™ are crucial to the DBX’s body stiffness and excellent driving experience. 

In application terms, including open- and cure-time requirements, DuPont’s technology ensures Aston Martin can implement the BETAMATE™ and BETASEAL™ adhesives at their new plant. Continuous bond lines also contribute to durability, crashworthiness, and dampening for a quieter ride.   

In addition to structural bonding solutions with robust adherence to different substrates, DuPont provided education and training to ensure high performance, manufacturing efficiency, and the quality of fit and finish. 

DuPont bonding solutions provide strength and lightweighting. 

  • BETAMATE™ 4600F is a crash-durable structural adhesive applied by robot to bond four types of aluminium for the DBX body (anodised extrusion, sheet, casting, and powder-coated casting aluminium).
  • BETAMATE™ 2810 is an elastic adhesive applied to bond and seal SMC to aluminium. 
  • BETASEAL™ 1949-1F is an elastic adhesive applied robotically to bond glass on the front, rear, and sides of the DBX and the panoramic roof. 

BETAMATE and BETASEAL for superior performance

Two of DuPont’s most sought-after solutions for automotive and e-mobility bonding and sealing are BETAMATE™ and BETASEAL™ because they have a proven track record of exceptional performance.  

BETAMATE™ one- and two-component epoxy structural adhesives provide high-performance bonding to steel, aluminium and other materials to enhance steel, aluminium, and other materials to enhance stiffness, NVH, crash, and durability while reducing weight and manufacturing costs. BETAMATE™ products are ideal for closures (doors, hoods, trunks, and liftgates) and body structure/chassis (underbody, pillars, and roof) applications. 

Use BETAMATE™ structural adhesives for: 

  • Steel and high-strength steel (HSS)
  • Aluminium closures
  • Cast aluminium to profile bonding
  • Composite body-in-white part integration
  • Magnesium suspension struts
  • Aluminium chassis/powertrain components
  • Aluminium or composite roof bonding
  • Bonded seat structures

BETASEAL™ adhesives are used worldwide for structural bonding and sealing stationary glass in passenger vehicles, trucks, buses, rail coaches, and off-road vehicles. The superior performance of these systems helps vehicles meet globally mandated safety requirements for barrier, rollover, and roof crush regulations. Applied robotically or manually from standard or custom pumping equipment, use BETASEAL™ for: 

  • Windscreens
  • Backlights 
  • Quarter glass
  • Modular roof assemblies
  • Sunroof assemblies
  • Glass Hardware
  • Door glass
  • Mixed-material 
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