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Huntsman sorts out some sticky issues for Harley-Davidson

08 March 2015

Structural bonding, rather than traditional fastenings has been chosen for the assembly of carbon fibre composite components that form the key design elements of a very exclusive motorbike.

Combining a Twin Cam 110B engine with a high level of custom chrome-plated detailing and a unique surface finish, only ten SSRs will be manufactured for an exclusive client base
Combining a Twin Cam 110B engine with a high level of custom chrome-plated detailing and a unique surface finish, only ten SSRs will be manufactured for an exclusive client base

French manufacturer, Odyssey Motorcycles, is responsible for the carbon fibre bodywork and detailing on the fuel and oil tanks of the 2014 Harley-Davidson CVO Breakout Softail model. The company chose Araldite 2031 epoxy adhesive for use in the custom-build process of this Super Sport Roadster (SSR) Breakout motorbike, only ten of which are planned for production.

Providing excellent adhesion on a wide range of materials including metals and thermoset composites, Huntsman Advanced Materials' Araldite 2031 is used to bond the carbon composite fuel tank shells and the aluminium parts on the front fairings.

Where mechanical fasteners, such as rivets add unwanted weight and limit profile options, adhesives provide a better bonding solution, optimising lightweight structures and providing greater freedom in terms of design flexibility.

With its superior structural stability, flexibility and good chemical resistance, Araldite 2031 is helping to ensure that the SSR withstands the high mechanical stresses, extremes of temperature and different chemical environments that it is likely to encounter during its lifetime.

The adhesive delivers a tough and weatherproof finish, which is important for maintaining the bike’s high aesthetic finish. Odyssey Motorcycles’ pro-builder, Bertrand Dubet takes up the story:

“With an iconic brand such as Harley-Davidson and the high degree of customisation required for an application of this kind, there can be no compromise in the choice of materials or quality of the manufacturing process.

"Araldite 2031’s long gel time, ease of application and black colour are enabling us to optimise the use of different substrates in the production of a beautifully hand-crafted, aerodynamic vehicle that, thanks to this adhesive system, benefits from some excellent physical properties.”

Combining a Twin Cam 110B engine with a high level of custom chrome-plated detailing and a unique surface finish, only ten SSRs will be manufactured for an exclusive client base.

Structural adhesives
Structural adhesives can be used to join a variety of similar and dissimilar substrates, helping to improve vehicle durability, reduce weight and manufacturing costs.  By contrast to mechanical fixings, their use can help reduce fatigue and failure commonly found around spot welds and fasteners.

In an age of substrate change, where manufacturers are looking to use different materials that will have a significant impact on weight reduction, adhesives certainly have a big part to play. They are likely to be used in combination with mechanical fastening techniques for the foreseeable future, but it’s true to say that the use of nuts and bolts will decrease as time goes on and targets for the low carbon-economy escalate.

Huntsman’s products help overcome a variety of challenges such as low emissions, fast curing cycles with high initial green strength, durability under strength, impact resistance and multi-substrate joining.


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