Optimise Vehicle Conversions With Structural Adhesives

Are you an automotive manufacturer interested in vehicle conversions? In this article, we explore the use of structural adhesives for vehicle conversions and specialist vehicles, alongside the best adhesives for this purpose.

Table of Contents

fire truck

Structural Adhesives

Carrying out vehicle conversions with structural adhesives is a great way to get over common manufacturing challenges in this niche. Structural adhesives, as compared to traditional fastening techniques, offer many unique advantages, when used in the automotive industry. These include:

  • Vibration dampening – preventing vibration loosening and improving acoustics.
  • Weight reductions – increasing fuel efficiency.
  • Easier to apply – accelerating the manufacturing process.
  • Greater stress distribution – improving vehicle stability.
  • Anti-corrosion and anti-rust options available.
  • Safer – clothes often get caught on mechanical fasteners.
  • Aesthetic finish – allowing better looking conversions.
  • UV resistance – providing environmental durability.

Vehicle Conversions and Specialist Vehicles

Manufacturers involved in vehicle conversions often use structural adhesives to optimise specialist vehicles for their purposes. Here we explore the use of structural adhesives in different types of specialist vehicles.

Fire Trucks

Fire trucks contain various manifolds, pumps, and valves, which can be strengthened and sealed through structural adhesives. As fire trucks usually have metal skins, they can also be bonded through the use of structural adhesives. Adhesives are ideal for this application as they provide an aesthetic appearance to the vehicle, as opposed to rivets and joints. Structural adhesives can also be used for constructing tambour roller doors and installing tracks within fire trucks.

Police Vehicles

The interiors of police trucks require to be built from high-performance composites and plastics. The use of bolts and rivets must be limited in order to prevent any sharp surfaces that can be used for harm. As a result, structural adhesives can be used to bond all panels and beams within the vehicle. They can also be used to seal and cap any surface with a potentially sharp edge.

RVs and Caravans

Structural adhesives can be used for bonding many attachments in RVs and caravans. These include roof liners, water tanks, pipework, windows and upholstery.

Mobility Vehicles

Disability and mobility vehicles can utilise structural adhesives to bond hand-mounted controls, pedals, and steering aids. Structural bonding of supporting structures within the vehicle enables various access adaptations and mechanical alterations for users. Threadlockers and cyanoacrylate adhesives are often used in mobility vehicle conversions for bonding rubber grips and cushioning.


Ambulances contain many composite panels that can benefit from adhesives. Structural adhesives can be used to bond shelves, cabinets, overhead lockers, rails and plastic walls within ambulances. Adhesive use allows easier and quicker cleaning of ambulance surfaces, due to a lack of leak holes through drilling, enabling the maximal hygiene required in ambulances.


Structural Adhesives for Vehicle Conversions

Vehicle conversions with structural adhesives can be enabled using our recommended ranges of structural adhesives.

Huntsman Araldite

Huntsman, our biggest structural adhesive brand, provides high-performance structural adhesives in their Araldite series.

Araldite 2028-1 is a structural adhesive which can be used to bond a wide variety of metals, plastics, ceramics, glass, rubber and wood within automotive applications.  It is UV stable, transparent and fast-curing.

Araldite AW/HW 4858 is an epoxy casting system ideal for bonding large composite part assemblies in automotive applications. It offers high lap shear strength, high peel strength and high toughness.


DuPont, a global expert in the transportation industry, offers many structural adhesives suitable for vehicle conversions applications.

Betamate 2810 is a structural adhesive ideal for bonding composites, carbon fibre, plastics, laminates and paints within vehicles. It can bond dissimilar substrates, improves total stiffness of the body structure and allows for thermal expansion.

Betaseal 1527EP is a structural adhesive designed for bonding windscreens. It is easy to apply, can cure at low temperatures and offers low conductivity – reducing interference with radio, mobile phone and GPS systems.

Betaseal 1590 CT is a polyurethane adhesive ideal for panel bonding and window glazing applications in vehicle conversions. It is UV-resistant, cold processable and primerless.


Permabond, a leading manufacturer of industrial adhesives, offer threadlockers and cyanoacrylate adhesives for bonding rubber grips and cushioning applications within vehicles.

Permabond 792 is a cyanoacrylate adhesive ideal for bonding interior trims and luggage covers within automotive applications. It is extremely fast-curing, easy to apply and bonds hard-to-bond materials.

Permabond 737 is a gap-filling cyanoacrylate adhesive ideal for bonding weather seals or vehicle hoses.

Permabond HM162 is a high-temperature resistant anaerobic retainer ideal for bonding gears to shafts and bearings into housings within automotive applications.  It is of very high strength, cures quickly and offers an improved fatigue life to substrates.

We are your technical partner.

If you have any questions or want to find out more about the possibilities for your industrial application, please complete the contact form and one of our experts will be in touch.

If you have a problem with industrial adhesives, sealants, or electronic protection products and require advice, you can contact our technical support service. Our team can help you to optimize your processes and applications.

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