ARaymond*: What was the context for the development of the "EOLAB" vehicle?

Mr. M.: The Super Alma project, from which EOLAB has originated, is a rather extensive project with an aim to preview Renault's 2020 vehicles: vehicles which will produce much less CO2, due to being lighter, and benefiting from improved aerodynamics. EOLAB is designed as a true laboratory for cars of the future RENAULT: an assembly of "technological building blocks". These innovations that have been used, more than simply providing technical improvements, must also be easily industrialized: their implementation must be easily integrated into our existing plants.

Reducing the weight of the EOLAB vehicle led to the utilization of 4 materials: carbon fiber composites, aluminum, lightweight steel and magnesium.

But the assembly of these different materials in the vehicle brought about new challenges: these new materials are impossible to weld, often difficult to drill, and their juxtaposition can create corrosion issues.

 

ARaymond: How/Why have you chosen ARaymond for the bonding of these fastening elements (studs) on the carbon fiber floor panel and on the magnesium firewall?

Mr. M.: On EOLAB we had many elements to hold in place and to attach to the vehicle structure and, unlike a conventional steel vehicle, it was not possible to weld these fastening points.

So we had to find a new assembly solution for the carbon floor panel and the magnesium firewall. Assemble anchoring points by adhesive bonding in order to hold: heat shields for the exhaust pipe, underbody cable channel, underbody trim, and assisted suspension pneumatic tubing

In order to select the bonding solution supplier, my team contacted the assembly experts at RENAULT (Mr. Philippe MICHEL (SDES expert "structural bonding and mechanical deformation assembly processes" - DICAP)) and we explained them our issue. We have a carbon fiber floor panel and we cannot weld or mechanically attach the fastening points. We are considering bonding and we're looking for a certain level of performance. What do you recommend, who do you recommend?

It was at this time that he put us in contact with ARaymond. Many bonding solutions were subjected to our testing over the previous months and the ARaymond™ bonding solution showed the best performance, while having very good industrial integration capabilities.

 

ARaymond: How was the collaboration with ARaymond?

Mr. M.: Beyond the technical advantages of the ARaymond™ bonding solutions, what I appreciated very much about the collaboration with ARaymond is the reactivity and everyone's ability to meet their commitments. It's good to be able to have confidence in a partner.

Moreover, I was very impressed by their seriousness, the organization and the professionalism of the implementation. The approximately 50 fastening points have been manually bonded but in industrial conditions: we could imagine the implementation in the plant. I really appreciated this work that was conducted in a true partnership approach.

 

ARaymond: For you, what are the strengths of ARaymond™ bonding solutions?

Mr. M.: The first is technical: with the ARaymond™ bonding solutions, we can apply 80% of the load almost immediately, after only a few minutes. That's the big difference with the other technologies on the market: it allows us to attach instantly.

Another advantage of the system: we can easily imagine an industrial usage. The adhesive is in the form of a solid tablet or pellets, easy to distribute. A robot can come take the heated part that's to be bonded, put it in position... There is no problem in particular with the implementation into the manufacturing process.

Today, after 6 months, the bonded elements are holding very well. The EOLAB car has been assembled, tested, and is running: what better summary of the efficiency of the ARaymond™ bonding solutions can I give?

 

ARaymond: Is it a solution that you'd recommend?

Mr. M.: Yes, our assembly expert and everyone in the team have this solution in mind, and we wouldn't hesitate to call upon Bonding Solutions for other projects, and in particular those where the fastening points must be bonded.

When we reencounter this issue of lightweight materials, that we cannot weld, and we will need to bond fastening points, we will think of the ARaymond™ Bonding Solutions. Today, the use of lightweight materials is becoming more and more common amongst most manufacturers. Bonding will benefit from these new directions.

* ARaymond means A. RAYMOND SARL – Registered N° :  RCS Grenoble 352 948 434 – Grenoble (FRANCE) which is the editor of this Article and is responsible for this Article and has a license of use of trademark.
ARAYMOND™ is used as a trademark.

 

Details of the testimonial by Mr. Philippe Moutardier - Fabrication Manager of the EOLAB vehicle in the CRP department at Renault

To learn more: www.araymond-automotive.com

See an excerpt of the interview on video

* ARaymond means A. RAYMOND SARL – Registered N° :  RCS Grenoble 352 948 434 – Grenoble (FRANCE) which is the editor of this Article and is responsible for this Article and has a license of use of trademark.
ARAYMOND™ is used as a trademark.