Henkel Adhesive Technologies is celebrating another sustainability milestone: the surface treatments expert has significantly expanded its production capacities in Montornès del Vallès, Spain, adding solvent- and chromium-free innovations for the pretreatment of metals in coating plants to its European portfolio.
Starting this year, lubricants, cleaners and surface treatments are being produced CO2-neutrally. In taking this strategic decision, Henkel is responding to rising customer demand and investing in continuous product optimization.
For more than 25 years, Henkel has been supplying the chromium-free pretreatment agents Bonderite M-NT 1455T, M-NT 1456 and M-NT 10456 for coil coating to customers in various sectors, such as architecture. These agents act as an interface between the steel and the coating to provide enhanced corrosion protection and adhesion. The three solutions are now also available as solvent-free products with the suffix ‘SF’ (solvent-free).
“We are committed to continuously improving our products and driving innovation far beyond regulatory requirements. Developing solvent-free versions of our proven and high-performance Bonderite pretreatment agents was therefore a logical step with regard to the safety of our customers,” says Hans-Oscar Stephan, technical manager at Henkel Adhesive Technologies.
For example, one disadvantage of solvent-borne products is their boiling point of 150 degrees Celsius, which leads to poorer drying of the material. In contrast, users of the solvent-free, odourless and better-drying solutions benefit from process-related advantages, such as greater product stability at higher temperatures. The solutions also have a much longer shelf life, as precipitation during storage is reduced.
To meet the demand for solvent-free pretreatment products, Henkel has invested significantly in its Montornès site in Spain to expand production facilities for the polymer used in these products. This polymer gives the products their outstanding properties in terms of coating adhesion and corrosion resistance.
Henkel also has production facilities for the automotive and aviation industries at its long-standing site in Montornès. The site is therefore ideally positioned in terms of infrastructure to serve as the European hub for coil pretreatment, while also increasing capacity for global customers.
“Through this expansion in Montornès, which will serve as the new production site for Europe and the APAC region, we can ensure reliable supply capabilities to meet rising demand. This is one of the ways we are contributing to the architectural megatrend of sustainable construction projects,” says Jaime Anguera, plant manager in Montornès.
In the future, the expanded capacities will also enable Henkel to offer tinplate manufacturers an ideal basis for converting their passivation processes. These manufacturers will have to stop using chromium in production by 2027. Henkel is thus underlining its high aspirations to achieve safer, cleaner and more efficient processes in the metals industry, as is reflected in the three pillars of its ‘REspect REthink Reinvent’ framework. Its goal is to drive a process of continuous optimization by further enhancing products, processes and applications, offering customers the greatest possible performance while simultaneously conserving the planet’s resources.