Michigan Patent of the Month – July 2023

Zephyros, Inc. has made significant advancements in the field of adhesive formulations, revolutionizing the way components are bonded in the automotive and aircraft industries. Their latest invention, an activatable structural adhesive, offers superior properties such as structural reinforcement, adhesion, sealing, and acoustical damping.

The adhesive formulation comprises several key components that work together to enhance its performance. First, an adduct of an epoxy resin and an elastomer provides flexibility and initiates plastic deformation, improving the adhesive’s ability to withstand impact and prevent fracture. This adduct ensures a balance of strength and toughness.

In addition to the epoxy-elastomer adduct, a phenoxy resin is incorporated into the adhesive formulation. Phenoxy resins, high molecular weight thermoplastic condensation products, contribute to the adhesive’s temperature stability and enhance its adhesive properties upon activation. 

To further enhance the adhesive properties, a core polymer is included in the formulation. This polymer consists of a ductile core encapsulated by a rigid shell, providing compatibility with other components and improving overall performance. The core polymer, comprising elastomers, polymers, and thermoplastics, enhances the adhesive’s strength and stiffness.

To activate the adhesive and facilitate curing, a curing agent is added to the formulation. The curing agent can be selected from various options, including aliphatic or aromatic amines, polyamides, anhydrides, phenol-based resins, and more. By keeping a broad option of curing agents, the adhesive can be modified for different manufacturing processes.

Zephyros’ adhesive formulation offers numerous advantages over conventional structural adhesives. It maintains its adhesive properties across a wide range of temperatures, from -40°F to 194°F, ensuring durability and fatigue life. The formulation exhibits high Tg (glass transition temperature), strain to failure, and adhesion durability under various environmental conditions.

With this novel formulation, Zephyros is pushing the boundaries of structural adhesives in the automotive and aircraft industries. Their innovative approach provides improved bonding strength, flexibility, and temperature stability, resulting in enhanced performance and durability.

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